Crane Out as CEO of NRG Energy, COO Gutierrez Named as Successor

Mauricio Gutierrez

NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG) announced Thursday David Crane, president and chief executive officer since 2003, is stepping down, effective immediately.

David Crane“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.”

Mauricio Gutierrez, who joined NRG in 2004 and has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer since July 2010, was named Crane's successor.  According to NRG's announcement, it's expected Gutierrez will also be appointed NRG director.

Crane is expected to assist in the transition through the end of the year.

While the company did not give a reason for Crane's sudden departure, NRG Energy is in the midst of rebalancing its assets after months of lost earnings.  Just this week, NRG Energy announced it was selling its Pennsylvania and New Jersey power plants for $138 million.

At the time, Crane said the moves were part of an "ongoing and deliberate strategy of portfolio optimization."

NRG Energy is the largest independent power producer in the U.S., with a generation capacity of nearly 50,000 MW.

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