Turnover at the top of NRG Energy; David Crane steps down and Gutierrez becomes CEO

NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) announced today that David Crane is stepping down as President and CEO of the company, effective immediately. Crane has served in this position since 2003.

“During more than 12 years at the helm of NRG, Mr. Crane led the company from emergence from bankruptcy to its current position as leader in the wholesale and retail energy markets,” said Howard E. Cosgrove, Chairman of the NRG Board. “The Board thanks Mr. Crane for his leadership that helped transform NRG into the Company it is today.”

Replacing Mr. Crane will be Mauricio Gutierrez, who will be President and Chief Executive Officer and it is expected that Mr. Gutierrez will be appointed as a Director of NRG. Mr. Gutierrez has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since July 2010 and has been with the Company in various roles since August 2004.

Crane will assist in the CEO transition through the end of the year, NRG said in a brief news release.

The NRG Energy stock price, which started Dec. 3 at less than $11 per share, has fallen significantly in the past year.

In September NRG announced it would sell most of the equity interest of a major wind portfolio to affiliate NRG Yield (NYSE:NYLD) in what Crane described as a significant ‘reset’ for NRG Energy. The company has also been working to slash its operating and maintenance expenses.

Back in 2009, Crane and NRG Energy fended off a takeover attempt by Exelon (NYSE:EXC). Since then, NRG under Crane has often been an asset buyer.

In late 2012, NRG completed its merger with GenOn. In 2014 NRG Energy completed the acquisitions of substantially all the assets of bankrupt Edison Mission Energy.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.