HOUSTON, Aug. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) today announced that Thomas Webb, a highly respected utility industry executive and chief financial officer with more than 40 years of experience, will serve as a Senior Advisor to the company, effective immediately. Webb will advise the Business Review and Evaluation Committee (BREC) of the Board of Directors on its work as it continues to look at all options available to drive stakeholder value, maximize the company's value proposition and financial strength, and enhance shareholder engagement. In this capacity, Webb will also work with BREC Chairman and company President and CEO Dave Lesar on the hiring of a CFO.
"Tom will be an astute and valuable advisor to the BREC as we progress our recommendations to the full Board on potential value-maximizing strategic actions related to CenterPoint Energy's businesses, assets and other ownership interests and prepare to communicate those actions at our Investor Day," said Lesar.
Lesar added, "Tom's reputation, track record, outstanding relationships with investors and analysts, and extensive experience as a CFO across multiple business sectors are second-to-none. I am confident that Tom's services will not only enable me to find the ideal person for this important CFO leadership role, but will also ensure that our CFO will already have in place the key building blocks from which to hit the ground running and make an immediate positive impact for our shareholders."
Webb said, "With a clear utility-focused strategy, strong regulated utility assets across diversified, premium jurisdictions, and a commitment to maximize value for all of our stakeholders, I believe that CenterPoint Energy is poised to unlock the power and potential within the company. I look forward to partnering with Dave and the BREC to identify ways to build continued confidence, trust and value in the company, as well as working closely with Dave to find a CFO with the right skillset for CenterPoint Energy."
Ranked as the #1 utility industry CFO among buy/sell side analysts five times by Institutional Investor, Webb has had a distinguished and highly successful career. He served as CMS Energy's and Consumers Energy's Executive Vice President and CFO from 2002 to 2017. In addition, Webb was responsible for CMS Enterprises, which encompasses all of CMS Energy's businesses outside of the Michigan utility.
Webb also formerly served as Executive Vice President and CFO for Kellogg Company, a $9 billion revenue, 26,000 employee consumer goods company. Webb led the $4.6 billion acquisition of Keebler, at the time the largest acquisition in the food sector.
Webb began his career at Ford Motor Company in 1977, holding finance and management positions of increasing responsibility over 22 years in the United States and in Europe. His leadership roles included Vice President and CFO of Visteon, an $18 billion automotive component manufacturer; Controller of one of the company's five Vehicle Centers, a $32 billion business; Controller of the Electronics Division, which had production in nine countries; and various other senior financial positions.
Webb currently serves as the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Southwest Michigan First, an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as catalysts for economic success in Southwest Michigan. Webb also serves on the Board of Otter Tail Corporation, a company with interests in diversified operations that include an electric utility and manufacturing businesses. He received his bachelor's degree in finance and an MBA, both from George Mason University in Virginia. In 1998, the university named him Alumnus of the Year.
Kristie Colvin has served as interim Executive Vice President and CFO since April 2020. The company previously announced that it will seek an external candidate for the CFO position, after which time Colvin will continue to serve as Chief Accounting Officer with CenterPoint Energy.
About CenterPoint Energy
As the only investor owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. As of June 30, 2020, the company owned approximately $32 billion in assets and also owned 53.7 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns, operates and develops strategically located natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With approximately 9,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "objective," "plan," "potential," "predict," "projection," "should," "target," "will" or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as CenterPoint Energy's potential business strategies and initiatives, any recommendations and outcomes of the review process of the Business Review and Evaluation Committee of CenterPoint Energy's Board of Directors, including value creation, opportunities and expectations related to other ownership interests, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the impact of COVID-19; (2) financial market conditions; (3) general economic conditions; (4) the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions; (5) effects of competition; (6) weather variations; (7) changes in business plans; and (8) other factors, risks and uncertainties discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.