COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 13, 2010 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) will make executive leadership changes to support the company’s strategic goals and streamline operations, according to Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Charles Patton, 50, has been named president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power. Patton previously served as executive vice president - AEP Utilities West. Patton will succeed Dana Waldo, who is retiring from the company.
Patton also will oversee the operations of Kentucky Power. Tim Mosher, president and chief operating officer of Kentucky Power, also is retiring from the company. Mosher’s replacement will report to Patton.
Venita McCellon-Allen, 50, has been named president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO). She previously served as executive vice president - AEP Utilities East. McCellon-Allen will succeed Paul Chodak, 46, who will move to Indiana Michigan Power as president and chief operating officer, replacing Helen Murray, who is retiring from the company.
Pablo Vegas, 37, has been named AEP’s vice president and chief information officer. He previously served as president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas. Vegas will succeed Velda Otey, who is retiring from the company. McCellon-Allen also will coordinate the operations of AEP Texas. A replacement for Vegas will be named in the near future, reporting to McCellon-Allen.
“Dana, Tim, Helen and Velda each have made significant contributions to AEP during their many years with the company, and we wish them continued success as they begin new chapters in their lives,” Morris said. “Their decisions to retire and our overall initiative to reduce costs make this the right time to realign our reporting structure and eliminate a management layer between Bob Powers, president - AEP Utilities and our operating company presidents. This change will give our operating company presidents increased responsibility and a more direct role in the planning and budgeting process for capital projects within each operating area.
“Venita, Charles and Paul have demonstrated skills in leading our utility companies, and I know their experience will serve us well as we continue to manage the impact of the struggling economy and maintain our commitment to providing reliable, reasonably priced electricity service to our customers. Pablo´s experience in heading our Texas operations will give him an expanded perspective as he returns to lead our Information Technology organization," Morris said.
Patton has been executive vice president - AEP Utilities West since October 2009, responsible for the distribution and customer service operations of AEP’s utility operating companies in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Previously, he was senior vice president - Regulatory and Public Policy. From 2004 to 2008, Patton was president and chief operating officer for AEP Texas. From 2002 to 2004, Patton was vice president of governmental affairs for AEP in Texas. He joined Central and South West Corp. (CSW) in 1995 as director of state government affairs. Prior to joining CSW, Patton spent nearly 11 years in the energy and telecommunications business. Patton received a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas in Austin.
McCellon-Allen has been executive vice president - AEP Utilities East since October 2009, responsible for the distribution and customer service operations of AEP’s utility operating companies in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. She previously served as executive vice president - AEP Utilities West. From 2006 to 2008, she was president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO. She was senior vice president - Shared Services from 2004 to 2006, responsible for human resources, information technology and telecommunications, procurement and supply chain services, corporate services and enterprise security. Prior to that, she was senior vice president for human resources for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. A 17-year veteran of CSW, McCellon-Allen held leadership roles at CSW in operations, customer service, strategic planning and human resources. McCellon-Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University.
Chodak has been president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO since 2008. He began his career with AEP in 2001 as a senior project manager. From 2002 to 2007, he held leadership positions in Regional Engineering for Regulated Generation, Corporate Technology Development, Environmental Programs, and New Generation. Prior to joining AEP, he was a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Chodak received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute prior to accepting a commission in the U.S. Navy, where he earned chief engineer and submarine officer qualifications. While in the Navy, he earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He earned a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Vegas has been president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas since 2008. Previously, he served as AEP’s director of strategic planning within Corporate Planning and Budgeting. He joined AEP in 2005, holding leadership positions in Information Technology and Finance, leading both the Corporate IT Planning and Commercial Operations IT Planning organizations. Before joining AEP, Vegas held senior leadership positions with IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Andersen Consulting. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.