Monday, April 15, 2024

Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault announces plans to retire in 2023

by BIZ Magazine

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Entergy Corporation announced today that Leo P. Denault, chairman and chief executive officer, will retire in 2023 following 23 years of service to the company and a 40-year career in the energy industry. As part of an orderly and planned leadership succession process, the Entergy board of directors elected Andrew “Drew” Marsh, executive vice president and chief financial officer, to succeed Denault as CEO, effective Nov. 1. Denault will continue to lead the board as executive chairman until his retirement. He will work closely with Marsh and the senior leadership team to support a smooth and organized transition that builds on the company’s momentum in areas of customer solutions, renewable energy generation, infrastructure resilience and operational excellence.

“Leo Denault has shaped Entergy’s purpose, culture and transformation with a relentless focus on creating long-term, sustainable value for customers, employees, communities and owners,” said Stuart Levenick, Entergy’s lead independent director. “Leo has built and led an experienced team that has consistently executed an orderly business strategy with solid underlying fundamentals, including a robust customer base, a strong financial position, a constructive regulatory environment, strong community partnerships, a talented, diverse workforce, and a world-class storm restoration organization. He has strengthened the business and positioned Entergy well for the future. While Leo will continue to serve Entergy for several more months, the entire board expresses its deep gratitude for his years of dedication, service and values-driven leadership. We are confident that Drew will carry the torch and continue serving all of Entergy’s stakeholders well by creating sustainable value today and for future generations.”

“When I think about Entergy’s forward momentum and some of the milestones we’ve recently achieved, like the creation of our first-ever chief customer officer and the successful completion of our planned, multi-year strategy to exit the merchant power generation business, I realized this would be a logical time and a natural transition point for me in my career,” said Leo Denault, Entergy chairman of the board and CEO. “Throughout my time at Entergy, I have endeavored to put our customers, the communities we serve and the company on a path that delivers long-term, sustainable value for all without leaving anyone behind. I’m immensely pleased and humbled by the many accomplishments our 12,000 strong team has achieved together.”

Denault concluded, “Having worked closely alongside Drew for many years building Entergy’s vision for the future, I have seen firsthand his strategic leadership, in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the business, and astute financial acumen. The future for Entergy is bright and there are significant opportunities ahead. I know Drew is the right person to successfully lead the company forward on the path we’ve built together.”

Leo Denault, 62, was appointed chairman and CEO in 2013. Soon after, he guided the company through its 100-year milestone and later launched the company’s forward-thinking vision, We Power Life. Denault led Entergy’s transformation into a pure-play electric utility and set the company on the path to become the premier utility – one focused on delivering a cleaner, brighter and more sustainable future for everyone. As CEO of one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. utilities, Denault and his team have executed a strategic capital plan to modernize its power generation portfolio to ever cleaner and more resilient energy sources while maintaining some of the lowest electricity rates in the nation. Under Denault’s leadership, Entergy has grown its service footprint to 3 million customers and has been recognized as a driving force behind the industrial expansion and job creation across the company’s four states.

Prior to being named chairman and CEO, Denault served as executive vice president and chief financial officer beginning in 2004. He played a critical role in 2005 ensuring Entergy – the only Fortune 500 company with headquarters in New Orleans – returned to the city following Hurricane Katrina, the largest natural disaster in U.S. history at the time. He also helped restore confidence to the financial markets and helped rebuild the company’s New Orleans utility, Entergy New Orleans, which was forced to file for bankruptcy after suffering a nearly total loss of its customers following the storm. Under his leadership as CFO, Entergy delivered the highest earnings per share and highest operating cash flow in company history in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Among his numerous recognitions, Denault was honored as a Global Energy Awards finalist for the S&P Platts Global 2021 Chief Executive of the Year and by the Climate Leadership Conference with a 2021 Individual Leadership Award for accelerating Entergy’s carbon reduction strategy to net-zero emissions by 2050 and advancing climate resilience initiatives throughout communities in the Entergy region. As CFO, he was named to Institutional Investor magazine’s “2010 All-American Executive Team” and was ranked as the best CFO in the power industry in 2010 and 2009. Denault has also been recognized as a corporate champion for low-income customers and serves on the board of directors for Jobs for America’s Graduates, a school-to-career program dedicated to removing barriers to graduation and/or employment for young people.

Andrew “Drew” Marsh, 50, joined Entergy in 1998 and served in a series of financial planning and strategy roles, including vice president, planning and financial communications, where he oversaw a large organization responsible for executing commercial operations for the Entergy utility operating companies. He was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2013. As CFO, Marsh has maintained Entergy’s firm financial standing, ensuring the company is well-positioned to achieve its strategic business objectives. In addition to his role at Entergy, he is a member of the Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited board of directors, KIPP New Orleans Schools board of directors, and Posse New Orleans advisory board. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in management from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

“I am both grateful and honored by the confidence the board has placed in me, and I’m honored to follow in my colleague and friend Leo Denault’s footsteps,” said Drew Marsh. “I will uphold Entergy’s values and the strategy that he has instilled in our leadership team. I look forward to advancing our We Power Life vision as we continue our journey of becoming the premier utility for everyone.”

Kimberly Fontan, 49, who has served as senior vice president and chief accounting officer since 2019, will succeed Marsh as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to her current role, she served as vice president, system planning; vice president, regulatory services; and vice president, regulatory affairs. Fontan joined Entergy in 1996 as a staff accountant. She has held various roles of increasing scope and responsibility, including jurisdictional finance director for Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., and controller, utility operations, in addition to the roles previously noted. In addition to her role at Entergy, she serves on the board of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

Fontan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from The University of Southern Mississippi and an MBA from Loyola University New Orleans. She is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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