Executive Insight

Electric utility NextEra Energy announces CFO transition plan

 

NextEra Energy Inc. Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer Moray P. Dewhurst recently shared with the board of directors his intention to retire in spring 2016 as part of a planned leadership succession process, the utility announced.

“Moray has been a key part of the senior leadership of NextEra Energy for well over a decade, helping us guide the company through a period of exceptional growth and success,” said Jim Robo, chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy. “For much of that time he has also been the principal spokesman for the company with the investment community and has achieved well-earned recognition as one of the best CFOs in the industry. He has been a great friend, colleague and valued counselor to me personally, and I know I speak for all NextEra employees when I say we will miss him. At the same time, I understand and respect his desire to move on to the next chapter in his life.”

The company also announced two senior leadership promotions.

John Ketchum, currently senior vice president, business management and finance for NextEra Energy subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, has been named senior vice president, finance, NextEra Energy, with responsibility for accounting, forecasting, tax and investor relations.

Ketchum, who is expected to succeed Dewhurst as chief financial officer as part of a planned year-long transition, will report to Dewhurst during the transition period.

Mark Hickson, currently vice president, operational excellence, strategic initiatives and corporate development, has been named senior vice president, corporate development and strategic initiatives and will continue to be responsible for corporate strategy, merger- and acquisition-related activity, business development, and quality and process improvement initiatives.

Hickson, who also has been appointed to the board of directors of the general partner of NextEra Energy Partners LP, will continue to report to Robo.

Hickson joined the company in 2012 and most recently has been responsible for corporate development activities, including leading the company’s successful launch of NextEra Energy Partners and playing a critical role in the recently announced proposed merger with Hawaiian Electric Industries. Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Hickson was with Merrill Lynch & Co., where he served as managing director of global mergers and acquisitions. While there, he advised clients in the infrastructure industry with broad industry experience, including energy and power, water utilities and toll roads in various regions, including North America, Europe and Asia. His overall transaction experience included mergers, acquisitions, cross-border transactions, divestitures, fairness opinions, debt and private equity financing, sale of a company, as well as management and regulatory issues.

Prior to becoming an investment banker, Hickson worked for The Boeing Co. as a senior aerodynamics engineer, where he was involved in the design, development and testing of aircraft. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University, where he graduated with honors.

Ketchum joined NextEra Energy in 2002 and most recently has been responsible for leading the finance, accounting and tax organizations of NextEra Energy Resources, as well as profit and loss for NextEra Energy Resources’ generating assets, and overseeing state regulatory and legislative affairs for NextEra Energy Resources. He has a diverse finance, legal, business and commercial transactions background with experience in domestic and international project development, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, tax, corporate governance, corporate finance, securities, bankruptcy, operations, risk management, finance and accounting.

Other positions Ketchum has held with NextEra Energy Resources include vice president, business management for the Midwest and Canada, and general counsel and corporate secretary. Prior to joining the company, Ketchum served as corporate counsel to TECO Energy and as a corporate and securities law associate for Holland & Knight, LLP in Tampa, Florida. He began his career as a tax lawyer for Lathrop & Gage in Kansas City, Missouri. Before that, he worked in corporate banking. Ketchum earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Finance from the University of Arizona and a Master of Law in taxation and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.