American Water CEO Susan Story leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about six years in the position
  • Accolades and praise for Story
  • Walter Lynch taking over
  • Story spoke at length and said 197 words

(exechange) — Camden, New Jersey, December 10, 2019 — Susan Story, chief executive of American Water, leaves. As announced by American Water Works Co. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, Susan N. Story leaves her post as Chief Executive Officer at the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company after about six years in the role, effective April 1, 2020.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.4 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Susan Story’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Walter J. Lynch, currently Chief Operating Officer of American Water Works Company, Inc.

“A perfect way to finish”

Susan Story’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Story said: “After 38 years of working in the utility business, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every part of this journey—and completing it at American Water in a few months will be a perfect way to finish.”

Precise information regarding Susan Story’s future plans was not immediately available.


American Water said: “Susan Story has announced that she will retire April 1, 2020 as president and CEO of American Water.”

American Water further said: “On December 6, 2019, Susan N. Story, President and Chief Executive Officer, informed the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of American Water Works Company, Inc. (the “Company”) of her decision to retire from the Company and to step down as a member of the Board, effective April 1, 2020.”

Share price increase since May 2014

The announcement follows an increase in American Water Works Company, Inc.’s share price of 152% since May 2014.

Chaired by Karl Kurz

American Water Works Company, Inc. is chaired by Karl Kurz.

In the position of CEO since 2014

Susan Story became CEO of the Company in 2014.

Her bio reads as follows:

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, since May 2014.

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company, from April 2013 to May 2014.

Thirty-one years at Southern Company and its subsidiaries, including:

  • Southern Company executive officer, from 2003 to 2013
  • President and Chief Executive Officer, Southern Company Services, from 2011 to 2013
  • President and Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Power Company, from 2003 to 2010
  • Executive Vice President, Engineering and Construction, Southern Company, from 2001 to 2003
  • Senior Vice President, Southern Power Company, from 2002 to 2003


  • Bachelor of Science, Auburn University
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Post-Graduate Training in Finance, University of Alabama
  • Post-Graduate Training, Birmingham School of Law
Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to American Water and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 50.2019 ($).