Drew Marsh

Entergy’s Denault to Step Down in November

Aug. 17, 2022
CFO Drew Marsh will ascend to the top spot at the New Orleans-headquartered utility.

After leading Entergy Corp. for nearly a decade, Leo Denault will step down as CEO on Nov. 1 and give up the chairman’s seat at some point in 2023.

Denault, 62, has spent 23 years at New Orleans-based Entergy, which serves about 3 million customers in four states. He was named chairman and CEO of the company in 2013 after working about nine years as its CFO. Come Nov. 1, he will in turn hand the reins of the company to current CFO Drew Marsh, who has held that role since Denault was promoted to Entergy’s top post.

“Leo Denault has shaped Entergy's purpose, culture and transformation with a relentless focus on creating long-term, sustainable value for customers, employees, communities and owners,” the company’s lead independent director Stuart Levenick said in a statement. “He has strengthened the business and positioned Entergy well for the future. While Leo will continue to serve Entergy for several more months, the entire board expresses its deep gratitude for his years of dedication, service and values-driven leadership.”

Word of Denault’s planned retirement after 40 years in the energy sector is the latest in a series of leadership changes at large investor-owned utilities this year. Most recently, American Electric Power Inc.’s Nick Akins said he plans to give up his leadership roles to Julie Sloat by year’s end. Before that, both Ralph Izzo at Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. and Jim Robo at NextEra Energy Inc. said they would step down after long leadership tenures.

“I'm immensely pleased and humbled by the many accomplishments our 12,000 strong team has achieved together,” Denault said in a statement. “Having worked closely alongside Drew for many years building Entergy's vision for the future, I have seen firsthand his strategic leadership, in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the business, and astute financial acumen. The future for Entergy is bright and there are significant opportunities ahead.”

Marsh, 50, has worked Entergy since 1998 and before being named CFO was, among other things, vice president of planning and financial communications. In November, Chief Accounting Officer Kimberly Fontan will take on his current job. Fontan has been with Entergy since 1996 and has, among other roles, help VP roles overseeing system planning, regulatory services and regulatory affairs.

Shares of Entergy (Ticker: ETR) were down slightly to about $121 in midday trading Aug. 17. Over the past six months, they have risen about 15%, growing the company’s market capitalization to nearly $25 billion. The company early this month reported second-quarter adjusted earnings roughly level with those of the prior-year period and Denault said his team expects it to report full-year results in the upper half of its guidance range.

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