Portland General Electric announced that Jim Piro will retired as president and CEO on Dec. 31. As part of the company’s leadership succession plan, the board of directors has appointed Maria Pope, senior vice president of Power Supply, Operations and Resource Strategy, to succeed Piro.
Pope will assume the role of company president on Oct. 1, 2017, and the role of CEO and member of the board of directors effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Piro, who joined PGE in 1980 as an engineer, has more than 40 years’ experience in the energy industry, 37 years with PGE. As CEO, he oversaw the addition of new and more efficient generating resources, including Biglow Canyon phases II and III and Tucannon River wind farms, two natural gas-fired plants in Clatskanie and Boardman, Ore. Piro has also been a prominent voice within the utility industry nationally and in the Oregon community, serving on the state’s Global Warming Commission and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Investment Council and the boards of the Oregon Business Council, All Hands Raised, Greater Portland Inc., Oregon State University Foundation, the PGE Foundation and the Edison Electric Institute. He is also a member of the Electrification Coalition, a national group of business leaders advocating for policies that support electric vehicles.
“Jim Piro has been an exemplary leader for PGE over the past eight years as he assumed the role in the midst of an economic downturn and then led the company through sustained growth, setting the stage for opportunities that lie ahead,” said Jack Davis, chairman of the PGE Board of Directors. “Among his many achievements, Jim’s unwavering commitment to operational excellence propelled the company to deliver value to customers, the Oregon community and shareholders.”
Pope currently serves as senior vice president of Power Supply, Operations and Resource Strategy at PGE, overseeing PGE’s energy supply portfolio, 15 thermal, hydro and wind generation plants, and long-term resource strategy. She joined the company in 2009 as senior vice president of Finance, CFO and treasurer after having served several years on the PGE Board of Directors.
Prior to joining PGE, Pope served as the CFO for Mentor Graphics and held a variety of leadership positions at Pope & Talbot and Levi Strauss & Co. Pope is a prominent community leader, appointed by Oregon’s governor to chair the Oregon Health & Science University Governing board. She also serves on the board of Umpqua Holdings Corporation and has previously served on several other U.S. and Canadian boards. Pope is an alumna of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
“Maria is the right person to lead PGE into the future,” said Davis. “She has broad experience across multiple industries, a track record of success and, most importantly, a deep understanding of our customers’ needs and the energy business.”