Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault to Retire in 2023
NEW ORLEANS – Entergy Corporation has announced that Leo P. Denault, the utility’s chairman and CEO, will retire in 2023 following 23 years of service to the company and a 40-year career in the energy industry. The Entergy board of directors elected Andrew “Drew” Marsh, current executive vice president and chief financial officer, to succeed Denault as CEO, effective Nov. 1. Denault will continue to lead the board as executive chairman until his retirement. He plans to work closely with Marsh and the senior leadership team to support a “smooth and organized transition that builds on the company’s momentum in areas of customer solutions, renewable energy generation, infrastructure resilience and operational excellence,” said a spokesperson.
“Leo Denault has shaped Entergy’s purpose, culture and transformation with a relentless focus on creating long-term, sustainable value for customers, employees, communities and owners,” said Stuart Levenick, Entergy’s lead independent director, in a press release. “Leo has built and led an experienced team that has consistently executed an orderly business strategy with solid underlying fundamentals, including a robust customer base, a strong financial position, a constructive regulatory environment, strong community partnerships, a talented, diverse workforce, and a world-class storm restoration organization. He has strengthened the business and positioned Entergy well for the future. While Leo will continue to serve Entergy for several more months, the entire board expresses its deep gratitude for his years of dedication, service and values-driven leadership. We are confident that Drew will carry the torch and continue serving all of Entergy’s stakeholders well by creating sustainable value today and for future generations.”
“When I think about Entergy’s forward momentum and some of the milestones we’ve recently achieved, like the creation of our first-ever chief customer officer and the successful completion of our planned, multi-year strategy to exit the merchant power generation business, I realized this would be a logical time and a natural transition point for me in my career,” said Denault, Entergy chairman of the board and CEO. “Throughout my time at Entergy, I have endeavored to put our customers, the communities we serve and the company on a path that delivers long-term, sustainable value for all without leaving anyone behind. I’m immensely pleased and humbled by the many accomplishments our 12,000 strong team has achieved together.”
Denault concluded, “Having worked closely alongside Drew for many years building Entergy’s vision for the future, I have seen firsthand his strategic leadership, in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the business, and astute financial acumen. The future for Entergy is bright and there are significant opportunities ahead. I know Drew is the right person to successfully lead the company forward on the path we’ve built together.”
Denault, 62, was appointed Entergy chairman and CEO in 2013. Soon after, he guided the company through its 100-year milestone and later launched the company’s forward-thinking vision, We Power Life. He led Entergy’s transformation into a “pure-play” electric utility. Under Denault’s leadership, Entergy has grown its service footprint to 3 million customers.
Prior to being named chairman and CEO, Denault served as executive vice president and chief financial officer beginning in 2004. He played a critical role in 2005 ensuring Entergy – the only Fortune 500 company with headquarters in New Orleans – returned to the city following Hurricane Katrina. Entergy delivered the highest earnings per share and highest operating cash flow in company history in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
Marsh, 50, joined Entergy in 1998 and served in a series of financial planning and strategy roles, including vice president, planning and financial communications, where he oversaw a large organization responsible for executing commercial operations for the Entergy utility operating companies. He was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2013. In addition to his role at Entergy, he is a member of the Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited board of directors, KIPP New Orleans Schools board of directors, and Posse New Orleans advisory board. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in management from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
“I am both grateful and honored by the confidence the board has placed in me, and I’m honored to follow in my colleague and friend Leo Denault’s footsteps,” he said. “I will uphold Entergy’s values and the strategy that he has instilled in our leadership team. I look forward to advancing our We Power Life vision as we continue our journey of becoming the premier utility for everyone.”
Kimberly Fontan, 49, who has served as senior vice president and chief accounting officer since 2019, will succeed Marsh as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to her current role, she served as vice president, system planning; vice president, regulatory services; and vice president, regulatory affairs. Fontan joined Entergy in 1996 as a staff accountant. She has held various roles of increasing scope and responsibility, including jurisdictional finance director for Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, and controller, utility operations, in addition to the roles previously noted. In addition to her role at Entergy, she serves on the board of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.