Pepco CEO announces he will retire -- Gazette.Net


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Joseph M. Rigby announced Monday he will retire as CEO and president of energy company Pepco Holdings toward the end of the year, after a successor is named.

The company is the parent of regulated utility Pepco, which provides electricity to more than 500,000 residential and commercial customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Rigby, 57, will remain as executive chairman of Pepco Holdings’ board until the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders.

The decision to retire was Rigby’s alone, Myra Oppel, a Pepco spokeswoman, said in an email.

Pepco has faced complaints over reliability issues in recent years. In 2011, the Maryland Public Service Commission fined Pepco $1 million for failing to properly maintain power lines and its electricity system that the commission said resulted in prolonged outages.

Under Rigby’s leadership, Pepco Holdings started an initiative to improve reliability across its three utilities. Customers have seen dramatic improvements in reliability, officials said.

“Joe has also taken an industry leadership role in advancing the critical topics of resiliency and cybersecurity, and delivered significant value to investors by doubling [Pepco Holdings’] market capitalization over the past five years,” Frank Heintz, lead independent director of Pepco Holdings’ board, said in a statement.

In its December reliability progress report, officials said workers trimmed trees along 487.5 miles of power lines last year in Montgomery, almost reaching its goal of 498 miles. Workers also replaced or renewed 197 miles of cable in the county in 2013, more than double its goal.

Pepco Holdings saw net income rise to $285 million in 2012 from $32 million in 2010, even as revenue declined to $5.1 billion in 2012 from $7 billion in 2010. In 2012, Rigby made $11.4 million in total compensation, 69 percent more than in 2011, according to the company’s last proxy statement. Most of the compensation was in non-salary items such as stock options.

The company hired search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to guide the search process and expects to name a successor by Sept. 30. The company will consider both internal and external candidates, Heintz said.

Rigby has been CEO, president and board chairman of Pepco Holdings since 2009. He joined Atlantic City Electric, another company subsidiary, in 1979 and became an executive of the company after Atlantic merged with Delmarva Power. Rigby became senior vice president and CFO of Pepco Holdings in 2004; executive vice president and COO in 2007; and president and COO in 2008.

He has been on the boards of numerous civic and business groups, including the Greater Washington Board of Trade, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the National Capital Area.

Pepco also provides electricity to several hundred thousand customers in Washington, D.C. Other subsidiaries of Pepco Holdings include Delmarva Power, a regulated utility to some 500,000 electric customers in Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula and about 124,000 natural gas customers in Delaware; Atlantic City Electric, a regulated electric utility to some 547,000 customers in New Jersey; and Pepco Energy Services, which provides deregulated energy and services for residential and commercial customers.

kshay@gazette.net