FirstEnergy chief Alexander retiring May 1

FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) announced today that Anthony J. Alexander, 63, will conclude his role as executive chairman on April 30, 2015, after 43 years with the company.  He also will leave FirstEnergy’s Board of Directors effective May 1, 2015. 

George M. Smart, currently the company’s lead independent director, will return to his prior role as chairman of the FirstEnergy Board of Directors, effective May 1, 2015.

“As FirstEnergy’s longest-serving chief executive officer, Tony Alexander’s vision, drive and leadership helped propel the company to the forefront of the energy industry,” said Smart.  “Tony’s passion for FirstEnergy was always apparent, whether talking with governors and other senior political leaders, Wall Street analysts and shareholders, or company employees in a utility line shop or power plant floor.”

Alexander began his career in 1972 within the tax department of Ohio Edison.  He moved to the company’s legal department as an attorney in 1976 and progressed through increasing roles of responsibility, ultimately serving as Ohio Edison’s executive vice president and general counsel. 

He was instrumental in the 1997 merger of Ohio Edison and Centerior Energy that formed FirstEnergy and was elected executive vice president and general counsel of the new organization.  Alexander was subsequently named president of FirstEnergy in 2000.  The company doubled its size in 2001 to 4.5 million customers after merging with GPU, Inc. and Alexander was named president and chief operating officer.  In 2004, he was elected president and chief executive officer.  He continued in this capacity following FirstEnergy’s merger with Allegheny Energy in 2011.  Alexander was named executive chairman of FirstEnergy last December.

“While dealing with the operational and financial impacts of FirstEnergy’s multiple mergers, Tony was able to guide the company through one of the most challenging periods in the history of the electric industry,” adds Smart.  “His willingness to push hard for important ideas and policies made him a strong energy industry advocate.”

Alexander received his bachelor of science in accounting and law degrees from The University of Akron.  He completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Business, and the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He also is a recipient of the Dr. Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award from The University of Akron.     

Alexander also is a member of the Board of Trustees of Akron Tomorrow and Team NEO, and is an advisory trustee to The University of Akron Board of Trustees.  He is on the President’s Advancement Council of the Austen BioInnovation Institute and serves on the Institute’s board of directors.

In the utility industry, Alexander served on the boards of the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  Its generation subsidiaries control nearly 18,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.