Entergy Corp. CEO Leo Denault to retire Nov. 1

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 625 views 

Entergy Corp. announced Wednesday (Aug. 17) that Leo P. Denault, chairman and CEO, will retire in 2023 following 23 years of service to the company and a 40-year career in the energy industry.

The Entergy board of directors has elected Andrew “Drew” Marsh, executive vice president and chief financial officer, to replace Denault as CEO effective Nov. 1. Denault will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board until next year.

“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.”

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. He also 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.

“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.”

“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,” Denault added.

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.

Marsh 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 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.”

Other members of Entergy’s senior leadership team will be:

  • Kimberly Fontan, chief accounting officer, has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer, where she will be responsible for corporate finance, treasury, accounting, internal audit, investor relations, and corporate development and planning.
  • Rod West, group president, utility operations, will continue his current responsibilities overseeing Entergy’s five utility businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Orleans and Texas.
  • Marcus Brown, executive vice president and general counsel, will continue in his current role with responsibility for all legal, ethics and compliance, federal policy, regulatory and government affairs, communications, and corporate security and governance matters affecting Entergy Corporation and its subsidiaries.
  • Chris Bakken, executive vice president and chief nuclear officer, has been appointed executive vice president of Entergy infrastructure, where he will have oversight responsibility for both the utility operations and the nuclear operations.
  • Peter Norgeot Jr., executive vice president and chief operating officer, continues in his role with responsibility for safety and human performance, power generation, power delivery, system planning, capital projects, system resilience, and compliance with federal standards for critical infrastructure protection.
  • Kimberly Cook-Nelson, senior vice president, nuclear corporate services, has been named executive vice president of nuclear operations and chief nuclear officer, with responsibility for the safe and reliable operations of Entergy’s four emissions-free nuclear plants located in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • Julie Harbert, senior vice president, corporate business services, will continue in her current role with responsibility for information technology, supply chain, finance operations, human resource operations, real estate, facilities, aviation, and continuous improvement.
  • Kathryn Collins, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, will continue in her current role overseeing human resources strategy, including talent management, business partnerships, compensation, benefits, labor relations, organizational health, and diversity workforce strategies.

These leadership appointments will be effective Nov. 1.