FirstEnergy fires CEO and 2 additional executives after violating company code of conduct related to ‘government investigations’

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 8:00 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - FirstEnergy confirmed on Thursday that three company executives, including its CEO, have been fired effective immediately.

The terminated leaders include Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Jones, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Marketing, and Branding, as well as the Senior Vice President of External Affairs, according to FirstEnergy.

FirstEnergy said the Independent Review Committee of the Board of Directors of FirstEnergy Corp. “determined that these executives violated certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct” during the course of the company’s “previously disclosed internal review related to the government investigations.”

President Steven E. Strah has been appointed as Acting Chief Executive Officer while Board Member Christopher D. Pappas was named to Executive Director.

FirstEnergy said Pappas will remain an independent member of the Board and will not be part of the management team.

Rather, he reports to Non-Executive Chairman of the Board Donald T. Misheff.

Misheff said, “We as a Board have strong confidence that this leadership transition and Steve’s appointment as Acting CEO will position FirstEnergy to move forward with positive momentum and drive long-term shareholder value creation. I look forward to working with Chris in his role as Executive Director to oversee the management team’s execution of FirstEnergy’s strategic initiatives, engage with the Company’s external stakeholders, and support the development of enhanced controls and governance policies and procedures.”

According to Pappas, “Steve’s deep knowledge of FirstEnergy’s business and significant operational experience, having served in various leadership roles at the Company, make him uniquely positioned to execute on our strategic priorities and lead FirstEnergy through this transition. I look forward to working with Steve as we build on the Company’s strong performance and continue to execute FirstEnergy’s long-term, customer-focused growth strategy to enhance value for shareholders.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity to lead FirstEnergy and I am deeply committed to the future of this company,” said Steven E. Strah, CEO of FirstEnergy. “I have seen firsthand the strong management team and deep bench of highly capable leaders across our organization, and I am confident in our ability to continue delivering value to our stakeholders as we remain intently focused on our business priorities through this transition and beyond. Together, we will advance our mission for the benefit of customers, communities, and our employees.”

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