AEP appoints Benjamin Fowke as interim CEO

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AEP appoints Benjamin Fowke as interim CEO
Credit: © Reuters.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - American Electric Power (NASDAQ: AEP ) has named Benjamin G.S. Fowke III as its interim chief executive officer and president, following the departure of Julie A. Sloat. Fowke, a board member and former chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL ), assumes the role effective immediately.

The company's Board of Directors, after discussions with Sloat, decided to seek new leadership to guide AEP into the future. This change is not attributed to any operational, policy, or financial disagreements or issues of ethical or compliance nature.

In conjunction with this leadership change, Sara Martinez Tucker, AEP's lead director, has been appointed as the new chair of the Board. The Board is also initiating an external search for a permanent CEO with the assistance of a prominent executive search firm.

Tucker expressed gratitude to Sloat for her 23-year tenure and contributions to AEP. She also commended Fowke for his extensive industry experience and his role in shaping AEP's strategy, which she believes will steer the company through its ongoing transition.

Fowke, who has been with AEP's board since February 2022, brings a wealth of experience from his time at Xcel Energy, including a deep understanding of utility operations, finance, regulatory policy, and sustainability. He remarked on the company's recent portfolio actions and his commitment to advancing AEP's strategic priorities, enhancing regulatory relationships, and delivering value to shareholders and customers.

The announcement coincides with AEP's release of its fourth-quarter and year-end 2023 financial results, where the company reaffirmed its 2024 operating earnings guidance range of $5.53 to $5.73. AEP will conduct its quarterly earnings call to discuss these results on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

American Electric Power, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, serves 5.6 million customers and operates a vast transmission and distribution network.

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