AKRON, Ohio, July 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. ("FES" or "Company") has named the members of its Board of Directors (the "Board") for the reorganized company ("New Holdco") and their roles will become effective once the Debtors' successfully emerge from the Chapter 11 process.
FES, its subsidiaries and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company ("FENOC") remain on track to conclude the Chapter 11 proceedings in the fourth quarter of 2019 and emerge as a fully integrated independent power producer with a significantly strengthened business. The Company is confident that the directors' diverse background and successful track record will benefit the new shareholders, employees and vendors as the business enters a new, exciting phase focused on execution and growth. The Board was constructed to provide a high level of insight and experience that will enable the reorganized company to effectively address the challenges and opportunities in the industry now and in the future.
The New Holdco Board of Directors will be led by Executive Chairman John Kiani. Mr. Kiani graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts and from Rice University with a Master's of Business Administration. Mr. Kiani has been a critical part of the Company's operational and financial improvement efforts in all business areas, in addition to key negotiations during the Chapter 11 process.
"We are extremely pleased to have John serve as Executive Chairman of the new Board of Directors," said John W. Judge, CEO. "We have no doubt the Company will benefit from his deep experience in the industry and markets where we operate. His substantial principal investments experience will bring the discipline required to maximize the potential of our business for all stakeholders."
Combined, the eight-member Board has more than 125 years of experience in the energy industry.
"We have taken great care to assemble a team that understands our industry, its challenges, and has a proven track record for identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to optimize the value of our businesses," Mr. Judge said.
"I am excited to work with the management team and my colleagues on the Board to maximize the performance and value of the Company," Mr. Kiani said. "We are pleased with the improvements to date in our corporate and asset level operations, as well as the re-generation efforts in our Retail supply business and look forward to driving substantial additional improvements."
Joining Mr. Kiani on the new Board of Directors are:
- John W. Judge, President and CEO of FES. Mr. Judge was named to his current role in February 2019. He has more than 25 years of management and leadership experience in the telecom and energy industries, most recently served as Chief Risk Officer of FirstEnergy Corp. Mr. Judge graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and international studies and earned a Master's of Business Administration from Georgetown University. He has completed the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at MIT.
- Stephen E. Burnazian, Executive Vice President of FES, Corporate Development. Mr. Burnazian was appointed to his current role in March 2019. He previously served as Senior Vice President with Avenue Capital Group, where he focused on principal investments in the merchant power, infrastructure and utility industries. Mr. Burnazian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University. Additionally, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.
- Douglas G. Johnston, CFA, Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Nuveen. Mr. Johnston specializes in corporate-backed industrial development in the energy, utility, building materials, metals and commodities sectors and serves as Nuveen's lead analyst covering FES. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College. Additionally, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago.
- Jennifer R. Kneale, Chief Financial Officer of Targa Resources Corp. Ms. Kneale is the senior finance executive at Targa Resources where she is responsible for the key financial, accounting and risk management functions. At Targa, she has worked on a number of M&A transactions, including both the acquisition of and divestiture of assets, and the formation of capital raising joint ventures with private equity and strategic partners. Prior to joining Targa, she worked in private equity, structured commodities transactions, asset management and investment banking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics, policy studies and managerial studies from Rice University.
- John W. Pitesa, Senior Nuclear Energy Executive. Mr. Pitesa is a veteran of the nuclear energy industry with 40 years of experience. Mr. Pitesa served as Chief Nuclear Officer for Duke Energy, where he led the company's industry leading nuclear organization with ownership and operation of six nuclear plants. Mr. Pitesa was also the Chief Nuclear Officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute ("NEI") for a term from 2017-2018. Mr. Pitesa holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Auburn University and is a graduate of Harvard's Advanced Management Program.
- Kevin T. Howell, Chairman of the Board for Atlantic Power Corp. Mr. Howell has substantial power industry experience. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer at Dynegy Inc. during the company's restructuring in 2011 and oversaw plant and commercial operations and environmental, health and safety. Prior to joining Dynegy, Mr. Howell served as President of NRG Texas and Reliant Energy, in addition to senior roles at Dominion Resources and Duke Energy. Mr. Howell also serves as a director for TexGen LLC and Homer City Holdings, LLC.
- John C. Blickle, Independent Director for FES. Mr. Blickle has been an independent director of FES since November 2016 and has provided thoughtful guidance for the business and oversight of the restructuring process. Mr. Blickle currently serves as president of Rubber City Arches, a franchisee of numerous McDonald's restaurants in Northeast Ohio. In addition to his role as a Director with FES, Mr. Blickle serves as a director on several corporate and philanthropic boards in the Akron area. He received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Akron and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court is scheduled to consider confirmation of the Company's Plan of Reorganization on August 20 and August 21, 2019. The schedule allows FES and FENOC to remain on track to emerge from the Chapter 11 process late in 2019. The transactions contemplated under the Plan are subject to a variety of conditions, including the entry of an order of the Bankruptcy Court confirming the Plan and the satisfaction of other conditions to the effectiveness of the Plan, including all regulatory approvals.
FES, its subsidiaries and FENOC voluntarily filed for bankruptcy on March 31, 2018 in order to facilitate an orderly financial and operational restructuring. The case is proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio, in Akron.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Solutions