Press Release

FirstEnergy Announces Key Management Changes as Part of Succession Planning Strategy

Company Release -
5/19/2020 12:35 PM ET

AKRON, Ohio, May 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) today announced a series of management changes that supports the company's succession planning process, broadens the experience of key executives, and further positions the company for long-term, customer-focused growth. All changes will be effective on May 24, 2020.

FirstEnergy Corp. Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)

Steven E. Strah has been elected by the Board of Directors to serve as president, FirstEnergy Corp. Strah will continue reporting to Charles E. Jones, who has been FirstEnergy's president, chief executive officer and member of the board since 2015. Jones will continue to serve as CEO and a member of the board.

"Steve is a strategic and driven leader with a deep understanding of FirstEnergy's business and the needs of our customers, employees and investors," Jones said. "He is committed to driving our long-term, customer-focused growth plans as well as our mission to be a forward-thinking electric utility, and I look forward to working with him in his new role."

As president, Strah will oversee FirstEnergy Utilities; Corporate Services and Information Technology; Finance; Product Development, Marketing and Branding; External Affairs; Rates and Regulatory Affairs; and Strategy. Strah began his career with The Illuminating Company in 1984 and served in a variety of utility leadership roles including regional president of Ohio Edison; vice president, Distribution Support; and senior vice president, FirstEnergy Utilities. He was elected senior vice president and chief financial officer in 2018.

K. Jon Taylor has been elected senior vice president and chief financial officer, reporting to Strah. As CFO, Taylor will oversee Accounting, Treasury and Investor Relations. He joined FirstEnergy in 2009 from PricewaterhouseCoopers and held key roles in FirstEnergy's finance department, including vice president, controller and chief accounting officer, before being named president, Ohio Operations in 2018, and promoted to vice president, Utility Operations, in 2019.

The company also announced that Robert P. Reffner has been elected senior vice president and chief legal officer, reporting to Jones. Reffner will continue to lead the Corporate, Legal, Information & Compliance and Real Estate departments and will now oversee Risk & Internal Auditing. He will also oversee efforts to develop the Innovation Center, a new venture that will apply data analytics, technologies and creative problem-solving to accelerate innovation within FirstEnergy. Reffner joined FirstEnergy in 2007 and was elected senior vice president and general counsel in 2018.

Ebony L. Yeboah-Amankwah was elected vice president, general counsel and chief ethics officer, reporting to Reffner. Yeboah-Amankwah joined FirstEnergy in 2005 and was named vice president, deputy general counsel, corporate secretary and chief ethics officer in 2018.

Mary M. Swann has been elected Corporate Secretary, reporting to Yeboah-Amankwah. Swann joined FirstEnergy in 2018 from Diebold Nixdorf, where she served as Vice President, Executive Corporate Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary.

In FirstEnergy's Utility operations, John Skory has been named vice president, Utility Operations. He will report to Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. Skory began his career with the Illuminating Company in 1977 and was named president, Ohio Operations, in 2019.

Gary W. Grant, Jr. becomes president, Ohio Operations, reporting to Skory. Grant joined FirstEnergy in 2008 and was named vice president, Customer Service, in 2015.

Michelle R. Henry has been named vice president, Customer Service, reporting to Belcher. Henry began her career with the Illuminating Company in 1988 and was named director, FERC and State Regulatory Compliance, in 2018.

James H. Myers III has been named president, West Virginia Operations.  Myers will take over for Holly C. Kauffman, who is retiring after 36 years of service to the company, and eight years as president of West Virginia Operations. Myers, who will report to Skory, joined FirstEnergy in 1986 and was named director, Operations Services, Penelec, in 2019.

Full biographies for each of these executives are available on FirstEnergy's website. Photos are available on Flickr.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form 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 more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 based on information currently available to management. Unless the context requires otherwise, as used herein, references to "we", "us", "our", and "FirstEnergy" refer to FirstEnergy Corp. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "forecast," "target," "will," "intend," "believe," "project," "estimate," "plan" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the extent and duration of the novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) and the impacts to our business, operations and financial condition resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 including, but not limited to, disruption of businesses in our territories, volatile capital and credit markets, legislative and regulatory actions, the effectiveness of our pandemic and business continuity plans, the precautionary measures we are taking on behalf of our customers and employees, our customers' ability to make their utility payment and the potential for supply-chain disruptions; mitigating exposure for remedial activities associated with retired and formerly owned electric generation assets risks associated with the decommissioning of TMI-2; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, executing our transmission and distribution investment plans, controlling costs, improving our credit metrics, strengthening our balance sheet and growing earnings; legislative and regulatory developments including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, compliance and enforcement activity; economic and weather conditions affecting future operating results, such as significant weather events and other natural disasters, and associated regulatory events or actions; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, the reliability of our transmission and distribution system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission and distribution investment opportunities; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, the impact of climate change or energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us and/or our major industrial and commercial customers or others with which we do business; the risks associated with cyber-attacks and other disruptions to our information technology system, which may compromise our operations, and data security breaches of sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information; the ability to comply with applicable reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes to environmental laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, those related to climate change; changing market conditions affecting the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our pension trusts and other trust funds, or causing us to make contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger, than currently anticipated;  the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings; labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; changes to significant accounting policies; any changes in tax laws or regulations, , or adverse tax audit results or rulings; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us, including the increasing number of financial institutions evaluating the impact of climate change on their investment decisions; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect either our access to or terms of financing or our financial condition and liquidity; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Dividends declared from time to time on our common stock during any period may in the aggregate vary from prior periods due to circumstances considered by our Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. These forward-looking statements are also qualified by, and should be read together with, the risk factors included in our filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q together with any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. The foregoing review of factors also should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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