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March 07, 2019
AEP Announces New Chief Customer Officer and Combines Transmission and Distribution Oversight Organizations
American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) today announced that Thomas L. Kirkpatrick, currently vice president, Distribution Asset Management and Support Services, will be the company’s new senior vice president and chief customer officer, replacing Bruce Evans, who has announced plans to retire June 28. Kirkpatrick will have responsibility for Customer Services, Solutions and Business Development. He will begin working with Evans during the transition until Evans’ retirement.
“Bruce’s contributions to AEP have been significant both during his time leading AEP Texas and in heading our Customer Service organization. He’s brought a keen customer focus and engaging leadership style to AEP, and we wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Charles R. Patton, executive vice president, External Affairs. “I know Tom will continue to champion enhanced customer service and will ensure that we have the right programs in place to provide the products and services our customers expect as our industry evolves.”
Daniel E. Groff, vice president, AEP Transmission Business Operations & Controls, will become vice president, Performance Management, effective March 9, leading a combined team that will support both the Transmission and Distribution organizations. The team will include the Transmission Business Operations and Control team that currently reports to Groff and the Distribution Asset Management and Operations Support team that has reported to Kirkpatrick. They will manage resource investments; standardization; digitization; process improvement and controls; and risk analysis for AEP’s Transmission and Distribution organizations. Groff will report directly to Lisa M. Barton, executive vice president, AEP Utilities, but also will retain a reporting relationship to Mark C. McCullough, executive vice president, AEP Transmission.
“Combining Transmission and Distribution system performance will enhance service for our utility subsidiaries, capitalize on organizational synergies in the two organizations, and increase efficiency. Meeting our service commitments and customer expectations in this rapidly changing environment means refining and streamlining the way we work across a large portion of our organization,” Barton said. “Dan has played a key role in spearheading and leading cross-functional programs that made AEP Transmission more efficient and effective. I’m confident that his leadership of the combined organization will support innovation and enhance the transport and delivery of electricity at every voltage across the AEP system,” Barton said.
Kirkpatrick, 60, began his AEP career in 1980 and has worked in a variety of leadership roles for the company including as vice president, Customer Services, Marketing and Distribution Services; vice president, Distribution Operations; and vice president, Distribution Asset Management. In addition to his work at AEP, Kirkpatrick has held leadership roles at Davies Consulting and Patrick Energy Services. He has a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and is a registered Professional Engineer. Kirkpatrick is a board member of the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and the Southeast Electric Exchange.
Groff, 53, has held a variety of roles at AEP, including manager of Transmission Business Development, asset manager of a portfolio of jointly owned generation assets and as an energy commodities trader for the company. Before joining AEP in 2000, Groff worked in the investment banking and financial investment industry in the Washington, D.C., area. Groff has a bachelor’s of science in physics/engineering from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities 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, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.
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Media Relations Manager