FirstEnergy names new president, other leadership positions


By Robin Goist - cleveland.com (TNS)



AKRON, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp. on Tuesday announced several changes in its leadership, including the appointment of a new president and chief financial officer, all going into effect May 24, the company reported in a news release.

The Akron-based utility company’s Board of Directors has elected Steven E. Strah as president, succeeding Charles E. Jones, who has been FirstEnergy’s president, CEO and member of the board since 2015. Jones will continue as CEO and a member of the board, and Strah will report to him.

Strah began his career with The Illuminating Company in 1984, holding various managerial positions in Cleveland, Toledo and New Jersey. In 2005, he was named regional president of Ohio Edison, and was promoted to vice president of distribution support in 2011. He was named senior vice president of FirstEnergy in January 2015.

As president, Strah will oversee corporate service and information technology, finance, product development, marketing and branding, external affairs, rates and regulatory affairs and strategy, the company said.

“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.”

K. Jon Taylor was elected senior vice president and chief financial officer, and will report to Strah.

Taylor, who will oversee accounting, treasury and investor relations, joined FirstEnergy in 2009. He has held roles in the company’s finance department, including vice president, controller and chief accounting officer. He was named president of Ohio Operations in 2018 and was promoted to vice president of Utility Operations in 2019.

A company spokeswoman has not responded to a cleveland.com inquiry about the salaries of Strah and Taylor.

Robert P. Reffner has been elected senior vice president and chief legal officer, and will report to Jones.

Reffner will continue to lead the corporate, legal, information and compliance and real estate departments, and will now oversee risk and internal auditing, and develop the “Innovation Center,” a new project to apply data analytics, technologies and creative problem-solving to accelerate innovation within FirstEnergy. He 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, and will report 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, who joined FirstEnergy in 2018, has been elected corporate secretary, and will report to Yeboah-Amankwah.

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

Gary W. Grant, Jr. was elected president of Ohio Operations, and will report to Skory. Grant joined FirstEnergy in 2008 and was named vice president of customer service in 2015.

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

James H. Myers III has been named president of 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 of Operations Services, Penelec, in 2019.

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By Robin Goist

cleveland.com (TNS)

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