FirstEnergy names Brian X. Tierney as new president, CEO

FirstEnergy Corp. has named Brian X. Tierney as its new president and CEO, effective June 1.

Tierney, who got unanimous approval from the board, succeeds John Somerhalder II, who served as president and CEO on an interim basis. Somerhalder also serves as chair of FirstEnergy’s board, a position he will continue to hold. Tierney is expected to be appointed by the board at the company’s annual meeting in May.

Tierney, 55, joins FirstEnergy from Blackstone, where he was the global head of Portfolio Operations and Asset Management for the Infrastructure group. Before that, he held various leadership positions at American Electric Power (AEP) over a 23-year stint there, including chief financial officer and VP of strategy.

“I have dedicated my career to the energy industry, and leading FirstEnergy is a privilege that I am humbled by and a responsibility that I take seriously. I believe strongly in the steps the company’s board and management have taken to position the business for long-term stability and success, and I look forward to working with them to execute this strategy and build on FirstEnergy’s strong operational momentum. I appreciate the board’s confidence in me and will do everything I can to serve our customers and communities, keep our employees safe and move FirstEnergy into the future,” Tierney said.

The board cited Tierney’s extensive leadership, operational and commercial experience, strong financial acumen, and ability to advance business strategies and drive value.

“Brian Tierney is a proven leader with deep experience in the energy industry, a unique blend of operational, financial, and strategic skills, and a sterling record of driving growth and transformation within our sector,” Somerhalder said. “Over the last several years, we have taken decisive actions to reposition FirstEnergy for the future. The board’s search committee set out to identify a leader who could continue the important work underway to drive the company forward while bringing critical outside expertise and perspectives. We could not have selected a better-suited candidate than Brian. We look forward to working closely with him to build on FirstEnergy’s momentum and enhance value for our shareholders and other stakeholders.”

Tierney served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of the Philippines and earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Lisa Winston Hicks, lead independent director on the board, thanked Somerhalder for this leadership on an interim basis.

“He helped keep the company on course and oversaw the continued execution of our strategy to become a more resilient and forward-looking company. Under his leadership, FirstEnergy is on stronger footing and well positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead,” Hicks said.

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, Ohio, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Dave Kovaleski

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