CenterPoint CEO Scott Prochazka leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Prochazka
  • John Somerhalder taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Houston, Texas, February 19, 2020 — Scott Prochazka, chief executive of CenterPoint, leaves. As announced by CenterPoint Energy Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Scott M. Prochazka leaves his post as chief executive officer at the Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility after about six years in the role, effective immediately.

CenterPoint will undertake a search for a successor.

Scott Prochazka’s duties as CEO will be taken over in the interim by John W. Somerhalder, a former Chief Executive Officer of AGL Resources Inc., as interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Somerhalder is already a director of CenterPoint. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Somerhalder understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of CenterPoint’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“Now is the right time for a new leader with a fresh strategic perspective”

Scott Prochazka’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Milton Carroll, Executive Chairman, said: “The board has determined that now is the right time for a new leader with a fresh strategic perspective to lead the company though its next phase of growth and value creation. We are fortunate to have found in John an outstanding energy industry executive with vast utility experience and the skills to ensure that we continue our momentum during the search process.”

Precise information regarding Scott Prochazka’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down/resigned”

CenterPoint said: “CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced that its board of directors has appointed John W. Somerhalder II as interim President and Chief Executive Officer to succeed Scott M. Prochazka, who has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a member of the board of directors.”

CenterPoint further said: “Effective February 19, 2020, Scott M. Prochazka, President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (the “Company”), resigned from his officer and director positions with the Company and affiliated entities.”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“The resignation was not the result of any disagreement he had with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies and practices,” CenterPoint said.

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in CenterPoint Energy Inc.’s share price of 12% since February 2019.

Chaired by Milton Carroll

CenterPoint Energy Inc. is chaired by Milton Carroll.

Milton Carroll has been a director since 1992. He has served as Executive Chairman since June 2013 and previously served as Chairman from September 2002 until May 2013.

In the position of CEO since 2014

Scott Prochazka became CEO of the Company in 2014.

Scott M. Prochazka has served as a director and President and Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint Energy since January 1, 2014.

He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company from August 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.

He previously served as Senior Vice President and Division President, Electric Operations of the Company from May 2011 through July 2012 in addition to a variety of key leadership positions at the Company in electric, natural gas and customer service operations.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Enable GP, LLC, the general partner of Enable Midstream Partners, LP, and as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for each of Gridwise Alliance and Central Houston, Inc.

Prochazka is also a board member of Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, American Gas Association, Greater Houston Partnership, United Way of Houston, Junior Achievement of South Texas and the Kinder Institute Advisory Board.

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 CenterPoint and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 8.2020 ($).