KANSAS CITY, Mo.--()--Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) and Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) today announced that Michael J. Chesser has notified the Great Plains Energy Board of Directors of his decision not to stand for reelection as chairman of the board at the company’s annual shareholders meeting this May. In February 2012, Chesser announced his retirement as chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy but retained his position as board chairman in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
“I am excited and honored to join the Board of Directors of Great Plains Energy”
The board has selected Terry Bassham, Great Plains Energy’s president and chief executive officer, to succeed Chesser as chairman of the board, effective immediately following the company’s annual shareholders meeting on May 7, 2013. Bassham has served as a member of the board and president since May 2011. He has been the chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L since June 2012.
"Terry is a strong chief executive who understands the electric utility industry," said Chesser. "He and his leadership team are taking this company in the right direction. It is the right time for me to step down as chairman."
The board also reappointed Robert West as lead director. Combining the roles of chairman and chief executive officer focuses the accountability and responsibility for achieving the company’s objectives, while maintaining a lead director provides the independent members of the board with effective board leadership, as well as oversight and monitoring of the company and its management.
“The board is grateful to Mike for the decade of service he has given Great Plains Energy. We thank him for his vision and leadership,” commented lead director, Robert West. “Terry is a key member of the company's leadership team and the board is confident in his ability to lead Great Plains Energy in its efforts to provide long-term reliability for shareholders and customers.”
In addition, the board appointed Ann D. Murtlow, former president and chief executive officer of Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), to serve as director on the Great Plains Energy Board. Murtlow will stand for election at the annual shareholders meeting in May.
“We are very pleased to announce Ann’s appointment to the board,” said Chesser. “She brings exceptional knowledge and electric utility experience to the position. Under Ann’s leadership, IPL saw improved reliability, customer satisfaction and financial performance. We are proud to welcome Ann to the Great Plains Energy and KCP&L family.”
Murtlow served as president and chief executive officer of IPL from 2002 until 2011. During Murtlow’s tenure, IPL was a vertically integrated electric utility, owned by AES Corporation, with nearly 500,000 retail customers and more than 1,400 employees. In 2010, Electric Light and Power magazine named Murtlow the large utility chief executive officer of the year.
Prior to her position at IPL, Murtlow was an officer for the global power company AES Corporation, where she led business development and operations in Northern and Central European nations. Murtlow began her career with major power company contractor, Bechtel Corporation, as a design engineer.
“I am excited and honored to join the Board of Directors of Great Plains Energy,” remarked Murtlow. “I have a special affinity for the important role electric utilities play in their communities and for the value proposition they provide to investors. I look forward to working with Terry and the rest of the board to provide long-term earnings growth for shareholders and affordable, reliable energy for customers.”
Murtlow resides in Indianapolis, where she is the principal in her consulting firm, AM Consulting. She graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She has also been named a Board Leadership Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors and served as a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 2007 to 2012.
ABOUT GREAT PLAINS ENERGY
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at: www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.
Statements made in this release that are not based on historical facts are forward-looking, may involve risks and uncertainties, and are intended to be as of the date when made. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the outcome of regulatory proceedings, cost estimates of capital projects and other matters affecting future operations. In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L are providing a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the provided forward-looking information. These important factors include: future economic conditions in regional, national and international markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs, including but not limited to possible further deterioration in economic conditions and the timing and extent of economic recovery; prices and availability of electricity in regional and national wholesale markets; market perception of the energy industry, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L changes in business strategy, operations or development plans; effects of current or proposed state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments, including, but not limited to, deregulation, re-regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry; decisions of regulators regarding rates the Companies can charge for electricity; adverse changes in applicable laws, regulations, rules, principles or practices governing tax, accounting and environmental matters including, but not limited to, air and water quality; financial market conditions and performance including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and credit spreads and in availability and cost of capital and the effects on nuclear decommissioning trust and pension plan assets and costs; impairments of long-lived assets or goodwill; credit ratings; inflation rates; effectiveness of risk management policies and procedures and the ability of counterparties to satisfy their contractual commitments; impact of terrorist acts, including but not limited to cyber terrorism; ability to carry out marketing and sales plans; weather conditions including, but not limited to, weather-related damage and their effects on sales, prices and costs; cost, availability, quality and deliverability of fuel; the inherent uncertainties in estimating the effects of weather, economic conditions and other factors on customer consumption and financial results; ability to achieve generation goals and the occurrence and duration of planned and unplanned generation outages; delays in the anticipated in-service dates and cost increases of generation, transmission, distribution or other projects; the inherent risks associated with the ownership and operation of a nuclear facility including, but not limited to, environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks; workforce risks, including, but not limited to, increased costs of retirement, health care and other benefits; and other risks and uncertainties.
This list of factors is not all-inclusive because it is not possible to predict all factors. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in Great Plains Energy’s and KCP&L’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement. Great Plains Energy and KCP&L undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.