Great Plains Energy names leadership for combined company


Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light Co. announced the executive officer team that will lead the combined company once Great Plains Energy’s acquisition of Westar Energy is complete in Spring 2017.

Once approved by the Great Plains Energy board of directors when the transaction closes, the new team will have 19 executive officers with an average of more than two decades of utility experience.

“As KCP&L and Westar become one company, we are combining our strengths and expertise to realize our shared vision for the future of energy in the region,” said Terry Bassham, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L. “I’m excited that eight Westar leaders will be in a position to join our team as we expand the geography we serve. Together, we are forging a new path that offers customers more savings and greater reliability, all from a local, trusted team.”

Senior leadership team members reporting directly to Bassham will include:

·      Vice President and Chief People Officer Jerl Banning

·      Senior Vice President, Finance and Strategy and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Bryant

·      Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs and Chief Customer Officer Chuck Caisley

·      Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Ellen Fairchild

·      Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Heidtbrink

·      Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Corporate Services Heather Humphrey

·      Vice President and Chief Information Officer Charles King

More than half of Westar’s current executive officer team are being offered positions in the combined company and will serve in key operations, customer experience and culture roles. The new positions of chief people officer and chief customer officer were created in recognition of the importance people and culture play in building a high performing company that provides an exceptional customer experience, while delivering consistent and reliable customer service and shareholder returns.

“People are the heart and soul of a successful company, and that starts with its leaders,” said Bassham. “Westar and KCP&L’s strengths and expertise are mirrored in this team, and our commitment to the communities we serve.”

Westar’s presence in Kansas, like KCP&L’s in Missouri, is an integral part of the communities it serves. While the corporate headquarters for Great Plains Energy will remain in Kansas City, Missouri, leadership team members will be located in Topeka and Wichita, as well as Kansas City, and spend time in communities throughout the combined territory. “We are focused on maintaining a strong Kansas presence and having people in roles where they can help the communities we serve be successful,” said Bassham.

As a combined company, leadership team members and employees serve on more than 315 community, charitable and volunteer boards. In addition, team members have donated more than 35,000 hours and more than $4 million to community and charitable organizations. Further, the combined company invests more than a billion dollars in infrastructure annually to improve reliability and in economic development programs to help attract businesses and jobs to improve the communities it serves.

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