Energy Central Professional

 

AEP promotes Sloat to become next CEO


Mark Williams  

 

    American Electric Power has chosen one of its top executives to become its new CEO.

    Julie Sloat, currently AEP's executive vice president and chief financial officer, became president on Wednesday, and she will transition to CEO on Jan. 1.

    She replaces Nick Akins, 61, who is stepping down as president immediately as part of the company's succession plan and will end his term as CEO Dec. 31. He will remain chairman of the company's board.

    He has been president and CEO since 2011 and chairman since 2014.

    Sloat, 53, has been executive vice president and chief financial officer for AEP since January 2021, and was a former president and chief operating officer of AEP Ohio, an AEP operating company that serves 1.5 million customers in the state.

    She is AEP's 11 president and seventh CEO, and the first woman to run the company.

    "This is a time of tremendous change and opportunity for AEP as we invest in new energy technologies and infrastructure to provide clean and reliable energy to our 5.5 million customers," Sloat said in a statement. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to lead an amazing team of nearly 17,000 employees and have seen first-hand their commitment to the communities we serve and ensuring our customers can count on us every day to power their lives and businesses. It's an exciting time to be in this industry and build on the 116-year legacy of AEP."

    Sloat takes over at a time when the company is transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

    The company has pledged to slash its emissions of carbon dioxide by 80% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

    The move comes weeks after AEP Ohio was widely criticized for intentionally turning off power to some Columbus neighborhoods to keep power outages from spreading.

    The decision followed severe storms that did extensive damage to AEP's transmission system and hot weather that sent demand for electricity soaring. AEP Ohio has defended its actions, saying it had just a few minutes to act and that it was ordered to curtail power consumption by the agency that oversees the power grid to the region.

    "Julie is an exceptional leader who has successfully led key strategic areas for the company," Akins said in a statement. "Her financial expertise and positive relationship with investors have been essential for the execution of our long-term strategy, enabling us to deliver strong earnings quarter after quarter while continuing to raise guidance and provide consistent dividend growth."

    AEP is one of the nation's biggest power companies, serving 5.5 million customers in 11 states.

    mawilliams@dispatch.com

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