Entergy Chairman and CEO Announces Leadership Reorganization

Rod West Promoted to Chief Administrative Officer; Richard Smith Appointed President, Wholesale Commodity Business

Jun 07, 2010, 07:00 ET from Entergy Corporation

NEW ORLEANS, June 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In his first major reorganization in more than 11 years, Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J. Wayne Leonard has named Entergy leaders to new roles effective as early as June 14.

The reorganization will enhance organizational effectiveness and performance by strengthening local regulatory presence in the Northeast and consolidating commercial and risk functions for Entergy's wholesale commodity business associated with non-utility generation. Internal restructuring was identified as a critical near-term action following the April 5 announcement of the decision to unwind the business infrastructure associated with the proposed spin-off. Pursuant to that announcement, Entergy is seeking to preserve options and capture value expected from the proposed separate non-utility nuclear generation and nuclear services companies. At the same time, Entergy is creating a more focused corporate structure, while also providing further development of proven leaders.

New leadership roles include:

  • Rod West, currently president and CEO, Entergy New Orleans, Inc., has been promoted to chief administrative officer for Entergy. Reporting to West will be Robert Sloan, Entergy's executive vice president and general counsel; Terry Seamons, Entergy's senior vice president, human resources and administration; and Entergy's executive vice president, external affairs to be named at a later date.
  • Richard Smith, currently Entergy's president and chief operating officer, has been appointed president, Entergy wholesale commodity business. As president of that business unit, Smith will be headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., where other critical regulatory efforts associated with license renewal are also located. More details about this business will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • Mark Savoff, Entergy's executive vice president, operations, has been named chief operating officer and adds responsibility for nuclear operations to his organization.

West, Smith and Savoff will report to Leonard.

  • Renae Conley, currently president and CEO, Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., will be promoted to executive vice president to lead Entergy's human resources and administration organization during 2011. Seamons will retire at the end of 2011 after Conley's transition into the position is complete. In the interim, Conley will assist Seamons in human resources assignments and also lead the corporatewide inclusion and diversity initiative. She will report directly to Leonard during a portion of her interim assignment.
  • Bill Mohl succeeds Conley as president and chief executive officer, Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, having most recently served as Entergy's vice president, system planning and operations, and will report to Gary Taylor, Entergy's group president, utility operations.
  • Charles Rice has been appointed president and chief executive officer, Entergy New Orleans, replacing West and will also report to Taylor. Rice currently serves as director, regulatory affairs, Entergy New Orleans.
  • Andrew Marsh, currently Entergy's vice president, planning and financial communications, will become Entergy's vice president, system planning and operations, replacing Mohl and will report to Savoff.

"As we consider our opportunities and challenges, it is clear certain key areas need to be staffed differently for the future we are facing," said Leonard. "This team is hungry for success and has the knowledge, skills, integrity and will to achieve our aspirations. The leadership team is represented by those distinguished in their professional domains, having proven themselves in various fields of intense challenges from the courtroom to the classroom to athletic arenas to the service of their country in the armed forces. The new organization recognizes the value we place on understanding and meeting our customers' needs, with two current jurisdiction presidents promoted into the Office of the Chief Executive. I am confident this organization will serve our stakeholders well as we continue to strive for success in a tough environment.

"The reorganization creates an organization solely focused on commercial, governmental and regulatory affairs, and financial and risk matters for Entergy's wholesale commodity business associated with non-utility generation – both nuclear and fossil. It also aligns accountability for generation operations – both utility and non-utility – within a single organizational structure at Entergy and maintains the ability to leverage functional scale in areas like nuclear. At corporate, we have a more focused structure with clear responsibilities and accountabilities. Our corporate functions have deep talent and a long record of success. Maintaining the status quo will not be good enough, not for a company with our aspirations, despite challenges in the economic climate. West's assignment will include aligning our efforts with urgency and purpose to support the business units' needs, with the same relentlessness and aggressiveness he has displayed in every facet of his life."

West is a proven, hands-on leader. A trained and successful regulatory litigator, he was promoted to president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans in January 2007, after having served from 2004 as the company's director of electric distribution operations. In that role, West managed New Orleans' electric distribution system and its rebuilding after the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He also received high marks for his role in leading the hurricane-ravaged utility out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than 20 months. West joined Entergy in April 1999 as senior regulatory counsel where he represented the company in its regulatory litigation group. In September 1999, West transitioned from legal to management to head Entergy New Orleans' regulatory group where he was responsible for direction and outcomes of regulatory proceedings. Prior to joining Entergy, West was senior attorney (commercial litigation) in the New Orleans office of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, L.L.P. from January 1998 until he joined Entergy. Prior to this, he spent five years with the New Orleans-based law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P. West, active in civic and charitable endeavors, is an executive committee member of the New Orleans Business Council and the Executive Leadership Council, as well as a member of the boards of directors of both First Bank and Trust and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. He is past chair of the Louisiana State University System Board of Supervisors and currently serves on the board of trustees at his alma mater, Notre Dame. He was a highly prized recruit at Notre Dame where he lettered three years as outside linebacker and tight end for Lou Holtz and the Fighting Irish, and played on the 1988 National Championship football team. He received both his juris doctorate and master of business administration from Tulane University.

Smith is the natural leader for Entergy's wholesale commodity business associated with the non-utility generation business, having presided over the generation function since April 2007 and given his considerable financial acumen and regulated utility economic background. The new structure brings a unified approach as the company moves through the final phases of the non-utility nuclear license renewal process and is expected to facilitate actions to pursue and capture the achievable value of the existing business as well as expanded growth opportunities. Three groups are expected to report directly to Smith, with leadership to be named in the near future with expansive skills in regulatory matters, commodity and financial markets and risk management. Before joining Entergy in September 1999, Smith held several executive positions at Cinergy Corporation, including president of Cinergy Resources, Inc., the non-regulated retail supply business, and vice president, finance, energy business services. Smith is a graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and obtained his master of business administration from the University of Indianapolis.

Savoff joined Entergy at the end of 2003 with accountability for the business operations of fossil generation, transmission, system safety and environment, supply chain, system planning and performance management, and adds nuclear operations in this reorganization. Before joining Entergy, Savoff's career at General Electric spanned 25 years and included numerous leadership positions in addition to his role as technical expert in boiling water reactor technology. Prior to his promotion to vice president and corporate officer at GE Power Systems, Nuclear Energy, he was general manager of GE's global nuclear fuel business and led the turnaround of GE's global nuclear services business. He also served as president of Reuter-Stokes, a wholly-owned GE subsidiary that supplies environmental and gas turbine monitoring equipment, components for radiation detectors, harsh environment sensors and sensors for monitoring nuclear power plant output. Savoff is on the boards of directors of Navigator Technology, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Southeastern Electric Exchange. He previously served as a member of the boards of the Nuclear Energy Institute, Reuter-Stokes, and Global Nuclear Fuel. Savoff is a certified Six Sigma greenbelt. He is a nuclear engineering graduate of the University of Florida where he is a member of the advisory council for the School of Nuclear Engineering and the dean's advisory board for the College of Engineering.

John Herron, president, chief executive officer and chief nuclear officer for Entergy Nuclear, will report to Savoff and remains a member of the Office of the Chief Executive. He will continue to provide the leadership on which the excellence in the nuclear program is built. He is characterized as an operator's operator, with a depth of experience in all aspects of running a nuclear power facility. Under Herron's leadership virtually every plant has achieved or is on record reliability runs. Prior to his career in nuclear power, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1978. He was attached to the USS Tullibee and the SIC NPTU Windsor, where he was an instructor at the Nuclear Submarine Prototype School. Before joining Entergy in February 2001, he began his career in nuclear operations at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation, with subsequent plant manager roles at Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station and Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah nuclear plant. He served as site vice president at TVA's Browns Ferry nuclear plant. He graduated from Franklin Pierce College.

Conley has the breadth and depth of professional and civic experience required to lead human resources and administration and to advance Entergy's corporatewide inclusion and diversity initiative that is among Entergy's aspirations. Entergy currently has more than 20 employee-directed diversity and inclusion councils and affinity groups throughout seven states and mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all employees and managers. She will also serve as a member of the Office of the Chief Executive. Conley's professional career includes a long list of leadership roles in the electric utility industry. She served as president of Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company, president and chief executive officer of Cadence, a joint venture of Cinergy, New Century Energies and Florida Progress, and in a number of other varied roles before joining Entergy in 1999 as vice president of investor relations. She took over the top job at Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana in 2000. As president and CEO, she led the restoration efforts after back-to-back strikes from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and again from hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. A respected business leader and advocate for economic development and education, Conley serves on numerous boards including the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor's Cultural Economy Foundation, Teach for America, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Economic Advisory Council, Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, and Louisiana State University E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean's Advisory Council. Conley is a graduate of Ball State University, having also earned a master of business administration from that university where she sits on the School of Business board.

Mohl has held various leadership positions with several energy companies over the past 28 years, with responsibility for wholesale power operations, fuel and generation procurement, marketing and trading, commercial negotiations, and business development which provide invaluable experience as he succeeds Conley. Mohl joined Entergy in 2002 where he was responsible for the procurement of all limited- and long-term fuel and generation resources and in 2007 added responsibility for system planning and operations. He is an experienced witness before regulatory bodies. Mohl began his career in the power industry at Public Service Company of Colorado, now an affiliate of Xcel Energy, before moving to Koch Industries where he held a number of senior leadership roles in various gas and power businesses. Mohl graduated from Regis University from which he also earned his master of business administration.

Marsh moves from the finance organization as he takes on the role of system planning for utility operations. Marsh began his career as an associate at a municipal investment bank, after which he developed his management and strategy background through the master of management program at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He joined Entergy in 1998 and moved through several financial communications, planning and strategy positions, including a three-year tenure at Entergy-Koch, LP, the joint venture between Entergy and Koch Industries. Recently, Marsh co-led efforts to organize and then subsequently unwind the non-utility nuclear spin-off organizations. Marsh's undergraduate degree is from the University of Notre Dame where he also played for the Fighting Irish football team and remains an active alumnus.

Rice's breadth of skills in city government, along with prior regulatory and legal experience at Entergy and two highly regarded law firms, provide exceptional experience as he takes on the top role at Entergy New Orleans. Like West, Rice began his first legal private practice position in Louisiana with Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P. following which he joined Entergy in the legal department. Between 2002 and 2005, Rice was recruited into city government as the city attorney and later took the critical role of chief administrative officer for the City of New Orleans. In 2005, Rice was recruited back to private practice as partner at the law firm of Barrasso, Usdin, Kupperman, Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C. following which he returned to Entergy as director of regulatory affairs for Entergy New Orleans in January 2010. Rice is a graduate of Howard University and earned his juris doctorate from the Loyola School of Law. After graduating from Howard University, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army and served as a military intelligence officer with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky. While in the Army, he earned the Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge and was awarded the Army Commendation and the Army Achievement Medals.

Other members of the Office of the Chief Executive who will continue to report to Leonard include:

  • Leo Denault, Entergy's executive vice president and chief financial officer. Denault has served as the CFO since 2004. In each of the past five years, Denault has finished among the top five CFOs in electric utility industry rankings by Institutional Investor magazine, including ranking as the best CFO for the past two years. In his prior position, Denault's responsibilities were continually expanded from corporate development to include strategic planning, investment analysis and risk management processes, including serving as lead negotiator in the creation of the Entergy-Koch, LP joint venture. Denault joined Entergy in 1999, following a career at Cinergy Corporation culminating with his role of vice president, corporate development. Denault played a lead role in PSI Energy's defense of a hostile takeover attempt that occurred during that company's merger with Cincinnati Gas and Electric to form Cinergy. Thereafter, Denault was involved in every major investment transaction, including the acquisition of generation, distribution and trading businesses in the U.S. and abroad. Denault graduated from Ball State University and earned his master of business administration from Indiana University.
  • Gary Taylor, Entergy's group president, utility operations. Taylor joined Entergy in 2000, bringing 20 years of nuclear expertise, substantially all with South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's V.C. Summer Station where he certified as senior reactor operator and shift technical advisor, among other leadership roles. Taylor ultimately served as chief executive officer of Entergy's nuclear businesses before moving to his current role. Taylor is a member of the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Greater New Orleans. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute as well as the boards of the Foundation for Nuclear Studies and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and is past chair of NEI's Low Level Waste Management Working Group. Taylor graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and received his master in nuclear science and engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also completed Harvard University's Advanced Management Program and the INPO Senior Nuclear Plant Management course. He is a member of the National Physics Honor Society and was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force with the rank of captain.

Seamons and Sloan will remain members of the Office of the Chief Executive reporting to West. Seamons joined Entergy in 2007, bringing a wealth of experience from RHR International, a management consulting firm specializing in linking managerial effectiveness, organizational performance and business strategy. He holds a doctorate in psychology from Brigham Young University and is a member of the American Psychological Association. He has been active in adult leadership training for the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church. He served on several boards including the advisory board of Michigan Gas Utilities, the board of advisors with the Greater Detroit Area Chamber of Commerce and the board from Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

Sloan joined Entergy in 2003, with over 30 years of legal experience both in the United States and abroad. Prior roles included vice president and general counsel at GE Industrial Systems, managing partner in the Brussels office of McKenna and Cuneo LLP, partner at Pepper, Hamilton and Sheetz law firm in Washington, D.C., and vice president and director of the Sovereign Credit Management Division at the First National Bank of Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Harvard Law School.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 15,000 employees.

Additional investor information can be accessed online at www.entergy.com/investor_relations.

In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in (i) Entergy's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, (ii) Entergy's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, and (iii) Entergy's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms, (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs, (d) nuclear operating and regulatory risks, and (e) legislative and regulatory actions, and conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and in subsequent securities filings.

SOURCE Entergy Corporation



RELATED LINKS

http://www.entergy.com