Exelon Corp. CEO Chris Crane plans to retire from the utility at the end of this year and will pass the baton to his top lieutenant, Calvin Butler Jr.
In a statement, Exelon said Crane recently learned that he needs treatment for “significant spinal and hip issues,” news that led him and the company to accelerate their succession plan. The board of Chicago-based Exelon telegraphed a few weeks ago that Butler would in time take the reins from Crane when it promoted him to president from senior executive VP and added to his responsibilities. That time frame has now been shortened to just a few weeks.
“Chris’ focus has been on ensuring a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities. On behalf of the Exelon Board, we are grateful for Chris’ more than two decades of service to Exelon,” Exelon Chairman John Young said in the statement. “We will support Chris and Calvin during this transition period and look forward to working with Calvin as he begins his role.”
Crane has led Exelon since 2012 and has worked at the company since 1998, when it was still known as ComEd. After a series of promotions that took him to various operating units of the company, he led it through the 2012 merger with Constellation Energy and its deal with Pepco Holdings four years later. Earlier this year, he oversaw the separation of Exelon and Constellation and Exelon today has more than 10 million customers in the Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. markets.
Butler joined Exelon in 2008 in a regulatory/external affairs role and was CEO of Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. from 2014 until 2019, when he was tapped to lead Exelon’s group of six electric and gas utilities. He was named COO in February of this year.
“Leading Exelon is a privilege and responsibility that I take very seriously,” said Butler. “I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me and will do everything I can to serve our customers and communities, keep our employees safe and move the energy industry forward.”
Crane’s planned retirement is the latest in a string of such moves at investor-owned utilities this year. The following veteran leaders are among those who have said they would step down:
- Leo Denault at Entergy Corp.
- American Electric Power Inc.’s Nick Akins
- Ralph Izzo at Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.
- Jim Robo at NextEra Energy Inc.
Shares of Exelon (Ticker: EXC) were down about 1.5% in midday trading Nov. 3. Over the past six months, they have lost about 20% of their value, shrinking the company’s market capitalization to about $37 billion.