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FirstEnergy names Brian X. Tierney president and CEO

FirstEnergy Corp. Monday announced that the board of directors has unanimously agreed to appoint Brian X. Tierney president and chief executive officer, effective June 1.

He succeeds interim President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Somerhalder II. Mr. Somerhalder also serves as chair of FirstEnergy’s board, a position he will continue to hold. After FirstEnergy’s May 2023 annual meeting, Mr. Tierney is expected to be appointed by the board to serve as a director effective June 1.

Tierney, 55, joins FirstEnergy from Blackstone, where he serves as the global head of Portfolio Operations and Asset Management for the Infrastructure group. He previously spent 23 years at Ohio-based American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP,) one of the United States’ largest investor-owned utilities, where he held a number of leadership positions, including most recently serving as executive vice president of Strategy following more than 11 years as its chief financial officer.

With a career spanning 28 years in the industry, Tierney has developed extensive leadership, operational and commercial experience. Moreover, he brings to FirstEnergy strong financial acumen – across capital allocation, accounting, investor relations, planning and strategy, and risk management – and a demonstrated ability to advance business strategies and drive value creation.

“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,” said Mr. Somerhalder. “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.”

“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.

Speaking for the FirstEnergy board, Lisa Winston Hicks, lead independent director, said, “We thank John for his tremendous leadership over the last six months. 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.”

Prior to Blackstone, Tierney spent more than two decades at AEP, where he most recently served as executive vice president of Strategy. He served more than 11 years as its chief financial officer, where he led corporate accounting, finance, investor relations, financial planning, strategy, risk management, procurement, supply chain and fleet services for the organization. Brian was a key architect of AEP’s positioning as a premier electric utility and consistently delivered superior financial results during his tenure as CFO.

Previously, he served as executive vice president of AEP Utilities East, responsible for the distribution, customer service and financial performance of AEP’s utility operating companies and subsidiaries across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. He was also senior vice president of Commercial Operations, where he led AEP’s energy trading and marketing activities, market operations and dispatch of the company’s 38,000 MW generation fleet.

Brian served as a United States 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.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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