LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company announced today that Chris Hermann, senior vice president, Energy Delivery, plans to retire May 1 after 43 years of dedicated service. Paul W. Thompson, senior vice president, Energy Services, has been named to a newly created role of chief operating officer.
Hermann joined LG&E in 1970 as a plant staff engineer and, during his career, he has worked in numerous areas of the company and held senior management-level positions with responsibilities for generation, transmission, fuel procurement, plant construction, load dispatch, engineering services and merger and business integration activities. He entered his current role in 2003 and has had responsibilities for the natural gas, electric distribution and retail businesses.
Effective Feb. 18, Thompson will oversee power production; energy supply and analysis; transmission and generation services; electric and gas distribution; and customer services. In his 22 years of service at LG&E and KU, Thompson has been instrumental in a number of key initiatives including operating and winding down Western Kentucky Energy, the withdrawal from the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, and best practice activities with former parent companies Powergen and E.ON.
"Chris has dedicated his life to our company and has made remarkable contributions in his 43 years of service," said Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of LG&E and KU Energy. "He has been at the helm for the worst natural disasters in our company's history and led those superb restoration efforts through extremely adverse conditions, but never lost focus on the safety of our employees, business partners and customers. His vision and leadership for safety has garnered international recognition for our company, but most importantly has shaped our culture where there is absolutely no compromise on safety. We wish Chris the very best in his retirement and thank him for many years of devoted service. He will truly be missed."
"Paul is ideally positioned for this new role," Staffieri said. "As a senior leader in this company, he has led us through a number of major milestones and has experience with many of the operations that he will take over. I am confident that he will be just as successful in this expanded role."
Thompson has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in business administration in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago. He is a past chairman of the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation Board and currently serves as the Advocacy Committee chair, a board member and vice chair of the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation, a board member of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation, an executive committee board member for Greater Louisville Inc., and is a 1998 graduate of Leadership Louisville.
Hermann has had a distinguished career at LG&E and KU. Under his leadership, the company has earned 15 J.D. Power Awards, including first-place rankings in the U.S. and Midwest and has a best practice emergency management operation plan including a strong mutual assistance network. He established the "No Compromise" safety philosophy which contributed to LG&E and KU's top-rated safety culture and more than 100 national and international awards. Hermann led crisis management and electric system restoration during numerous and significant outage events, including the 2008 wind storm and the 2009 ice storm.
Hermann directed the operation of the company's former three Argentine natural gas businesses, which served approximately two million customers, and successfully assisted with the divesture and management transition of the companies. He also was a member of E.ON AG's Top Executive Group and chair of the International Electric and Gas Distribution Best Practice Committee.
Hermann is a recipient of the 2009 University of Louisville Speed School's Distinguished Alumnus Award and the 2012 UofL Alumni Fellows Award.
He continues a close relationship with UofL, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Hermann is on the Speed School's Board of Industrial Advisors and currently chairs the Board Operating Sub-Committee.
In the community, Hermann is on the board of directors for Metro United Way, the executive committee, the Tocqueville Steering Committee, is the Red Feather Society chair and is a member of the United Way Worldwide Planned Giving Council. He is a member of the board of directors for the Kentucky State Parks Foundation and the chair of the membership committee. He is on the board, the executive committee, serves as vice chair of administration for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and is on the Kentucky Educational Television Louisville Regional board. Hermann previously was a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity as a team coordinator and as a Teach Kentucky mentor.
In order to help ensure a smooth transition to the new organization, Hermann will remain on board until May 1 and continue to report directly to Staffieri.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve a total of 1.2 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 321,000 natural gas and 397,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. Kentucky Utilities serves 546,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia.www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.