FirstEnergy Corp. announced today that its board of directors has elected Anthony J. Alexander, 63, executive chairman of the company, effective January 1, 2015.
He will be succeeded as president and chief executive officer by Charles E. Jones, 59, who also was elected to the company's board. Jones most recently served as executive vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. George M. Smart, currently chairman of the FirstEnergy board, will be lead independent director during the transition period.
"Tony Alexander's many years of service have helped create the solid company FirstEnergy is today," said Smart. "Under his leadership, the company has grown significantly — both organically and through beneficial mergers and acquisitions — and navigated complex issues such as deregulation and challenging economic conditions. Retaining Tony in a key leadership role allows for a smooth transition and truly benefits FirstEnergy."
Smart continued, "Chuck Jones is strongly suited to lead FirstEnergy as it builds upon recent actions to improve the company's financial position, lower cost structure and position the business for continued stable growth. His intimate knowledge of the electric industry, keen business judgment and solid leadership ability will help the company achieve strong performance that benefits customers, employees and shareholders."
"Chuck Jones is an excellent choice to lead FirstEnergy," said Alexander. "His deep knowledge of both our utility and competitive businesses and strong leadership skills will help continue FirstEnergy's growth and support our drive to increase shareholder value."
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. Upon the formation of FirstEnergy, Alexander was elected executive vice president and general counsel of the new organization. He was elected president of FirstEnergy in 2000; president and chief operating officer in 2001; and president and chief executive officer in 2004.
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.
He is a member of the boards of the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. He 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.
Jones began his career in 1978 as a substation engineer with Ohio Edison, which merged with Centerior Energy in 1997 to form FirstEnergy. In 1995, he was promoted to president of Ohio Edison's Penn Power subsidiary and returned to Akron in 1996 as an Ohio Edison division manager. Jones was named president of FirstEnergy's Northern Region in 1997, where he was responsible for the company's operations in Northeast Ohio; vice president of regional operations in 2001; senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Service in 2003; president, FirstEnergy Solutions Corp., the company's competitive unit, in 2007; and senior vice president, energy delivery and customer service in 2009.
In 2010, Jones was named senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities, overseeing the company's 10 regulated distribution companies: Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., Toledo Edison, Penn Power, Penelec, West Penn Power, Metropolitan Edison, Mon Power, Potomac Edison and Jersey Central Power & Light. He was elected to his most recent position in 2014.
Jones is a member of the board of directors for Team NEO and chaired the board for the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. He has been an active leader in many northeast Ohio community organizations, including United Way, The American Red Cross and Youth Opportunities Unlimited.