Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) and Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) today announced that Michael J. Chesser has notified the Great Plains Energy Board of Directors of his decision not to stand for reelection as chairman of the board at the company’s annual shareholders meeting this May. In February 2012, Chesser announced his retirement as chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy but retained his position as board chairman in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
The board has selected Terry Bassham, Great Plains Energy’s president and chief executive officer, to succeed Chesser as chairman of the board, effective immediately following the company’s annual shareholders meeting on May 7, 2013. Bassham has served as a member of the board and president since May 2011. He has been the chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L since June 2012.
"Terry is a strong chief executive who understands the electric utility industry," said Chesser. "He and his leadership team are taking this company in the right direction. It is the right time for me to step down as chairman."
The board also reappointed Robert West as lead director. Combining the roles of chairman and chief executive officer focuses the accountability and responsibility for achieving the company’s objectives, while maintaining a lead director provides the independent members of the board with effective board leadership, as well as oversight and monitoring of the company and its management.
“The board is grateful to Mike for the decade of service he has given Great Plains Energy. We thank him for his vision and leadership,” commented lead director, Robert West. “Terry is a key member of the company's leadership team and the board is confident in his ability to lead Great Plains Energy in its efforts to provide long-term reliability for shareholders and customers.”