FirstEnergy CEO Jones Addresses ShareholdersCompany announces preliminary voting results from 2020 Annual Meeting
AKRON, Ohio, May 19, 2020 -- At today's FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which was held as a virtual webcast due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President and Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Jones said the company remains well positioned to manage through the economic slowdown related to the global health emergency.
"The combination of the diversity of our footprint, our customer base, our stable and constructive regulatory environments, and our rate structures positions us, perhaps uniquely, for stability during the pandemic," Jones said. "It also demonstrates the benefits of our company's transformation to a fully regulated model.
"We believe our distribution and transmission investments will continue to provide service reliability for our customers and stable and predictable earnings for our shareholders," he said.
Jones added that over the past year and a half, FirstEnergy has taken other important steps to create a more innovative, diverse and sustainable corporate culture. The company's Strategic Plan articulates a clear, five-year vision that addresses the needs of its diverse customer base, while its Corporate Responsibility Report demonstrate its commitment to transparency and accountability on Environmental, Social and Governance efforts.
"I'm proud of all that we accomplished in 2019 and the early part of this year," he said. "These achievements build on our strong track record of consistently meeting or exceeding our commitments to shareholders for the past five years, including one of the strongest growth rates in the industry. I'm confident we will continue our forward trajectory of sustainable, customer-focused growth that delivers value to our stakeholders."
A transcript of Jones' prepared remarks can be found here.
Preliminary Voting Results
FirstEnergy also announced preliminary voting results from its 2020 Annual Meeting. Shareholders reelected each of the 11 nominees to the company's Board of Directors; ratified the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm; approved, on an advisory basis, named executive officer compensation; and approved the company's 2020 incentive compensation plan.
Based on preliminary results, the management proposal to amend the company's governing documents to authorize the Board to make certain future amendments to the company's Amended and Restated Code of Regulations received the requisite vote. A non-binding shareholder proposal relating to removing an aggregation limit for proxy access groups did not receive the requisite vote.
All preliminary voting results are subject to final certification.
The following directors were elected to one-year terms:
- Michael J. Anderson, chairman of the board of The Andersons, Inc.
- Steven J. Demetriou, chairman, chief executive officer and director of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
- Julia L. Johnson, president of NetCommunications, LLC
- Charles E. Jones, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy Corp.
- Donald T. Misheff, non-executive chairman of the FirstEnergy Corp Board of Directors, retired managing partner of the Northeast Ohio offices of Ernst & Young LLP
- Thomas N. Mitchell, chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators
- James F. O'Neil III, chief executive officer and vice chairman of CUI Global Inc.
- Christopher D. Pappas, retired president and chief executive officer of Trinseo S.A.
- Sandra Pianalto, retired president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
- Luis A. Reyes, retired regional administrator of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Leslie M. Turner, retired senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of The Hershey Company
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 based on information currently available to management. Unless the context requires otherwise, as used herein, references to "we", "us", "our", and "FirstEnergy" refer to FirstEnergy Corp. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "forecast," "target," "will," "intend," "believe," "project," "estimate," "plan" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the extent and duration of the novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) and the impacts to our business, operations and financial condition resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 including, but not limited to, disruption of businesses in our territories, volatile capital and credit markets, legislative and regulatory actions, the effectiveness of our pandemic and business continuity plans, the precautionary measures we are taking on behalf of our customers and employees, our customers' ability to make their utility payment and the potential for supply-chain disruptions; mitigating exposure for remedial activities associated with retired and formerly owned electric generation assets risks associated with the decommissioning of TMI-2; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, executing our transmission and distribution investment plans, controlling costs, improving our credit metrics, strengthening our balance sheet and growing earnings; legislative and regulatory developments including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, compliance and enforcement activity; economic and weather conditions affecting future operating results, such as significant weather events and other natural disasters, and associated regulatory events or actions; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, the reliability of our transmission and distribution system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission and distribution investment opportunities; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, the impact of climate change or energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us and/or our major industrial and commercial customers or others with which we do business; the risks associated with cyber-attacks and other disruptions to our information technology system, which may compromise our operations, and data security breaches of sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information; the ability to comply with applicable reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes to environmental laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, those related to climate change; changing market conditions affecting the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our pension trusts and other trust funds, or causing us to make contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger, than currently anticipated; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings; labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; changes to significant accounting policies; any changes in tax laws or regulations, , or adverse tax audit results or rulings; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us, including the increasing number of financial institutions evaluating the impact of climate change on their investment decisions; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect either our access to or terms of financing or our financial condition and liquidity; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Dividends declared from time to time on our common stock during any period may in the aggregate vary from prior periods due to circumstances considered by our Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. These forward-looking statements are also qualified by, and should be read together with, the risk factors included in our filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q together with any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. The foregoing review of factors also should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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