FPL Group, Inc. today announced that Lew Hay, the company's president and chief executive officer, has been elected to the added position of chairman effective the end of this year when James L. Broadhead, the company's current chairman, retires.
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Mr. Hay was elected president and CEO in June after having served as president of FPL Energy, the company's independent power production company, for approximately one year. He joined FPL Group in August 1999 as chief financial officer.
"I feel quite fortunate to be handed the reins of FPL Group, one of the best performing companies in the electric industry," said Lew Hay. "Thanks to the long-time leadership of Jim Broadhead, we have a strong foundation upon which to build, and I look forward to working with our 10,000 plus employees as we continue our efforts toward improving our operations and profitably growing our businesses."
Before joining FPL Group, Mr. Hay served as chief financial officer and executive vice president of U.S. Foodservice, then a $6-billion broad-line food service distribution company. Mr. Hay helped build the company through internal growth, improved operational performance and more than 20 acquisitions. He led the process to take the company public in 1994.
Prior to his career at U.S. Foodservice, Mr. Hay was a partner and senior vice president in Mercer Management Consulting, formerly Strategic Planning Associates. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Lehigh University and a Master's degree in business administration from Carnegie Mellon University. "Lew Hay is an excellent choice to lead FPL Group," said Mr. Broadhead. "A large part of his success is attributable to his being a good motivator with a drive to continually improve. He is a team player who treats people with respect, yet he has the ability to make tough decisions when necessary. I am confident he and the company will continue to be very successful."
Mr. Broadhead has served as chairman since 1990, relinquishing the title of president and CEO earlier this year. He will retire as chairman at the end of this year and also will end his directorship on the company's board.
"Jim Broadhead led a remarkable transformation of FPL Group throughout the last 13 years, changing it from a collection of unrelated and mostly under- performing businesses into a focused, efficient, and highly regarded energy company," said Lew Hay. "He had the foresight and the fortitude to make what some might have considered at the time unpopular decisions," said Mr. Hay. "In hindsight, his decisions were indeed the right ones -- resulting in total shareholder returns well above industry norms and electric rates well below the national average."
Mr. Broadhead was named CEO of FPL Group in 1989 and successfully focused the company's efforts on strengthening its core business, Florida Power & Light, and expanding its energy related operations outside of Florida through FPL Energy. Mr. Broadhead emphasized lower costs, improved quality and customer focus, and increased speed and flexibility throughout the company's operations. Operations and maintenance costs per kilowatt hour produced have declined by approximately 40 percent since 1990. The performance of the nuclear and fossil power plants rank among the top 10 percent in the country, and its service reliability is ranked in the top 20 percent.
Since 1990, FPL Group revenues have grown from $5 billion to $8 billion, even as non-core businesses were divested. FPL residential customers enjoy base rates for electricity that are nearly 10 percent lower than in 1989. The total return on FPL Group's stock, after taking into consideration dividends, from Dec. 31, 1990 through November, is 230 percent, or a compound annual return of 11.6 percent. For the same period, the S&P Electric Companies Index returned a cumulative 181 percent or 9.9 percent on an annualized basis.
Mr. Broadhead is a director of Delta Air Lines, Inc., the Pittston Company, and New York Life Insurance Company, and a trustee emeritus of Cornell University.
Prior to joining FPL Group, Mr. Broadhead was president of the Telephone Operating Group of GTE Corporation, GTE's largest operation with more than 100,000 employees in 31 states and three foreign countries. Before that, he was associated with St. Joe Minerals Corporation from 1968 to 1982, rising to president in 1981.
Mr. Broadhead is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He earned a law degree from Columbia University.
FPL Group, with annual revenues of more than $8 billion, is one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services. Its principal subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, serves approximately 3.9 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, an FPL Group energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at http://www.fplgroup.com/, http://www.fpl.com/ and http://www.fplenergy.com/.
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EDITOR'S ADVISORY: A separate news release is being issued which
highlights achievements of Mr. Broadhead during his 13-year career.
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SOURCE: FPL Group, Inc.