Senior Leadership Organizational Announcements Support Succession Planning

May 26, 2020

Chuck Jones remains CEO, Board elects Steven E. Strah as president and Jon Taylor as senior vice president and CFO, and other leadership changes announced

The company today announced a series o​​f senior-level promotions that executes on our succession planning strategy, broadens the experience of key executives, and further positions FirstEnergy for long-term, customer-focused growth. All changes will be effective on May 24, 2020.​​​

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

“Our succession planning is focused on developing and selecting leaders who will continue to build a strong and successful company,” Chuck 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. 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, Steve will assume broad operational leadership across the company including FirstEnergy Utilities; Corporate Services and Information Technology; Finance; Product Development, Marketing and Branding; External Affairs; Rates and Regulatory Affairs; and Strategy.

Steve 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, and in his new role he will continue to have oversight over the company’s Finance organization.

Jon Taylor has been elected senior vice president and chief financial officer, reporting to Steve. As CFO, Jon 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.

Since 2018, Jon gained valuable experience while lending his organizational leadership skills to our regulated utility companies, where he served as president, Ohio Operations for a year before being named vice president, Utility Operations, in 2019.

Bob Reffner has been elected senior vice president and chief legal officer, reporting to Chuck. Bob 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 focused on cultivating the innovation culture that is key to our future growth and success. Bob joined FirstEnergy in 2007 and was elected senior vice president and general counsel in 2018.
Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah has been elected vice president, general counsel and chief ethics officer, reporting to Bob. Ebony joined FirstEnergy in 2005 and was named vice president, deputy general counsel, corporate secretary and chief ethics officer in 2018.
Mary Swann has been elected Corporate Secretary, reporting to Ebony. Mary joined FirstEnergy in 2018 as senior corporate counsel II from Diebold Nixdorf, where she held the role of Vice President, Executive Corporate Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary.
Leadership Changes in FirstEnergy Utilities

John Skory was named vice president, Utility Operations, the position previously held by Taylor. John will report to Sam Belcher, senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities. He began his career with The Illuminating Company in 1977 and was named president, Ohio Operations in 2019.

Gary Grant becomes president, Ohio Operations, reporting to John. Gary joined FirstEnergy in 2008 and was named vice president, Customer Service in 2015.
Michelle Henry has been named vice president, Customer Service, reporting to Sam. Michelle began her career with The Illuminating Company in 1988 and was named director, FERC and State Regulatory Compliance in 2018.
Jim Myers has been named president, West Virginia Operations, reporting to John. Jim will take over for Holly Kauffman, who is retiring after 36 years of service to the company, and eight years as president of West Virginia Operations. Jim joined FirstEnergy in 1986 and was named director, Operations Services at Penelec in 2019.


Detailed biographical information on the leaders included in this announcement can be viewed here.



Forward-Looking Statements: This article 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. 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