President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sterba will retire from American Water Works Company, Inc. (American Water) at the company’s annual meeting in May and current Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Susan N. Story will assume the roles. To ensure a smooth transition, Sterba will stay on as an advisor to Story until January 1, 2015.
“I am so proud of what the American Water employees have achieved in the past few years,” said Sterba. “With a clear and well-established vision, we have and will continue to execute our strategy. The leadership team at American Water has created a company where continuous improvement is fully ingrained into our culture, customers are at the center of our actions and increasing shareholder value has and will be the result. While I will miss the committed and dedicated people of American Water, I know I will leave the company in incredibly capable hands, ensuring a pathway for sustainable and profitable growth.”
Sterba joined American Water in 2010. Under his leadership, the company delivered solid earnings per share growth more than doubling its equity share price and market capitalization, while strengthening its balance sheet with increases in revenues, net margin and cash flow. During Sterba’s tenure, American Water became the first U.S. water utility named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. Sterba also is recognized as a thought leader in the water industry, testifying before Congress numerous times as well as helping to launch the Value of Water Coalition made up of public and private members of the water industry working to educate the public on the importance of clean, safe and reliable water.
Story began her career at Southern Company, one of America’s largest generators of electricity, as a nuclear power plant engineer and had increasing executive and leadership responsibilities in both power plant and transmission and distribution operations, marketing, customer service, human resources, corporate real estate and supply chain management.
Before joining American Water, Story served as Executive Vice President of Southern Company. She also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Power Company, a Florida subsidiary of Southern Company, and as Southern Company’s executive Vice President of Engineering and Construction Services.
“The Board is very pleased that Susan Story will become American Water’s next leader,” said George MacKenzie, Chairman of American Water’s Board of Directors. “Susan has more than 30 years of utility experience and knowledge, and we are confident that under her direction, American Water will continue to deliver the solid performance its customers, employees and shareholders have come to expect.”
Story is actively involved in community, industry, education and economic development efforts and currently serves on the Bipartisan Policy Center Board of Directors in Washington, D.C. and as a member of the Moffitt Cancer Center Board of Advisors in Tampa, Fla.