Next DPL chief faces changed util­ity

Work­force and busi­ness re­struc­tur­ing has repo­si­tioned com­pany.

Dayton Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Gnau Staff Writer

Day­ton Power and Light’s next chief ex­ec­u­tive will take over a power com­pany that has greatly changed in past years with work­force and busi­ness re­struc­tur­ing.

For the sec­ond time in less than a year, the com­pany that sup­plies power to 515,000 cus­tomers in 24 coun­ties through­out west cen- tral Ohio an­nounced this week a change at the com­pany’s helm.

Craig Jack­son, DP&L pres­i­dent and CEO, will re­tire at year’s end to spend more time with his fam­ily and search for new pro­fes­sional op­por­tu­ni­ties, the util­ity said this week.

DP&L owner AES Corp.’s Strate­gic Busi­ness Unit (SBU) said Jack­son — who also serves as pres­i­dent and CEO of In­di­anapo­lis Power &

Light Co. (IPL) — will leave ef­fec­tive Dec. 31. The com- pany has be­gun a search for Jack­son’s suc­ces­sor.

“As a re­sult of Craig’s lead- er­ship, we re­fo­cused our busi­ness strat­egy in DP&L and ex­ited the gen­er­a­tion busi­ness in Ohio. At IPL, we’ve in­vested over $2 bil­lion in ‘green­ing’ our gener- ation port­fo­lio and pro­vid­ing re­li­able and af­ford­able en­ergy to IPL cus­tomers,” Lisa Krueger, AES US SBU pres­i­dent, said in a re­lease.

DP&L is a util­ity whose reg­u­la­tory fil­ings in re­cent years have ex­pressed con- cern about its f i nan­cial po­si­tion. And Jack­son him­self as­cended to the CEO’s of­fice in an AES re­struc­tur­ing an­nounced ear­lier this year, a re­struc­tur­ing that saw 160 jobs cut in Ohio and In­di­ana.

Jack­son at the time re­placed Tom Raga, who was named ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of DP&L’s holding com­pany, DPL Inc.

DP&L has sent sig­nals about its fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity for years. In ap­ply­ing for state per­mis­sion to en­act new charges in 2016, DP&L told the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion of Ohio (PUCO) that “With­out ap­proval of the com­pany’s (dis­tri­bu­tion and mod­ern­iza­tion rider), both DP&L and its par­ent DPL Inc. would be un­able to main­tain their fi­nan­cial in­tegrity.”

In June 2016, S&P Global Rat­ings ruled that an Ohio Supreme Court rul­ing that month had “in­creased the like­li­hood of a weaker fi­nan­cial profile, re­flect­ing weaker fi­nan­cial mea­sures for DPL and DP&L that could re­sult in a near-term rat­ings down- grade.”

DP&L de­clined to make Jack­son avail­able for an in­ter- view this week. But a util­ity spokes­woman in­sisted the com­pany is on a solid foot- ing to­day. She noted that the PUCO has in re­cent months ap­proved new DP&L rid­ers for dis­tri­bu­tion ex­penses and elec­tric se­cu­rity pro­tec­tion.

“That is a very bright fu­ture for the ser­vice ter­ri­tory,” DP&L spokes­woman Mary Ann Ka­bel said. “With that comes grid mod­ern­iza­tion, in­vest­ments in our in­fra­struc­ture, lead­ing to a smarter en­ergy fu­ture. So let’s put that in per­spec­tive.

“We’re mov­ing for­ward,” she added. “That’s key. Craig’s lead­er­ship and work to get us to that point and through that ap­proval process were key.”

She called Jack­son’s de­ci­sion an “in­flec­tion point” and a “per­sonal de­ci­sion” to “spend more time with his fam­ily.”

Said Ka­bel: “Now we have the com­pany on a good path.”

Over the years, DP&L and its foun­da­tion have been a big sup­porter of the Day­ton Art In­sti­tute and many other lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions.

This July, the DP&L Foun­da­tion an­nounced $455,000 in grants to the Day­ton Per­form­ing Arts Al­liance, the Vic­to­ria Theater As­so­ci­a­tion, the Friends of Le­vitt Day­ton, the Omega Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Corp. and the Mur­phy Theater Co.

In all, the foun­da­tion said it has awarded 57 “power grants” to 24 lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions to­tal­ing more than $4 mil­lion.

Michael Roedi­ger, CEO of the Day­ton Art In­sti­tute, said Thurs­day he does not see Jack­son’s res­ig­na­tion as a threat to the util­ity’s con­tin­ued lo­cal sup­port.

“I don’t see that as be­ing a prob­lem,” Roedi­ger said.

The Of­fice of the Ohio Con­sumers Coun­sel, which has been per­sis­tently crit­i­cal of DP&L in re­cent months, de­clined to com­ment on the lead­er­ship change.

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