AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) today announced several leadership changes in its Finance group designed to expand roles and responsibilities for key executives as part of the company's succession planning strategy. Mark T. Clark, executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), will become executive vice president, Finance and Strategy, and James F. Pearson, senior vice president and treasurer, will become senior vice president and CFO. He will continue to report to Clark. "Mark will continue providing strategic input for the direction of the company and will oversee the Finance, Risk, Information Technology and Supply Chain groups. While he will have high-level involvement in the finance area, Jim, as CFO, will have responsibility for the company's financial reporting process and interface with investors, analysts and others in the financial community," said Anthony J. Alexander, president and chief executive officer, FirstEnergy. "Mark's focus on strategy – and his deep understanding of our company and industry – will help us continue to position the company to take advantage of new opportunities for growth as the economy improves." In a related move, Steve Staub, executive director and assistant treasurer, will become vice president and treasurer, and will continue to report to Pearson. Clark joined the company in 1976, and has held positions as treasurer, division manager, director of Marketing, vice president of Business Development and senior vice president of Strategic Planning and Operations. He was elected to his current position in 2009. He was honored as a Simonetti Distinguished Business Recipient by The University of Akron and named "Chief Financial Officer of the Year" in 2011 by Crain's Cleveland Business. Pearson has been with the company since 1976 and has served in numerous financial positions, including group controller for FirstEnergy Solutions, FirstEnergy's competitive subsidiary, and the Strategic Planning and Operations group. He has been treasurer since 2005 and was elected to his current position earlier this year.