WEC Energy CEO suffers apparent stroke
Milwaukee-based utility company WEC Energy Group said Thursday that its chief executive, Allen L. Leverett, is hospitalized and receiving medical treatment due to what is believed to have been a stroke.
On Thursday, the company’s board of directors appointed Gale E. Klappa to serve as interim CEO “until Leverett can return to his normal duties,” according to a statement from WEC Energy.
The company also filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the change to an interim CEO.
Klappa, 67, has been non-executive chairman of the company’s board since his retirement as CEO in 2016. He will continue to serve as chairman of the board.
Leverett, 51, has served as CEO of the $7.5 billion company since May 1, 2016.
The announcement Thursday was made after the close of stock trading. The company’s shares closed Thursday at $65.57. The company’s shares, adjusted for dividends, are up nearly 17% in the past 52 weeks.
WEC Energy Group serves 4.4 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. The company has about 8,500 employees.
WEC Energy Group’s utilities include We Energies, the largest utility in Wisconsin.
WEC Energy Group also owns Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, which together serve more than 1 million customers in Chicago and its northern suburbs.
WEC’s other utilities include Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service, Michigan Gas Utilities, Minnesota Energy Resources and Upper Michigan Energy Resources.
The company’s other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.
Leverett was recruited to WEC Energy by Klappa and the two are very close, said WEC spokesman Barry McNulty.
Klappa and Leverett each joined the company in 2003.