Companies | Article published May 29, 2002|
Troubles at FirstEnergy ripple
Key executive leaves; others are demoted or
AKRON - Amid ongoing problems at its
Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Oak Harbor, FirstEnergy Corp.
has had one key executive abruptly leave and has demoted or shuffled
The moves, announced yesterday and effective
immediately, were portrayed as the Akron utility trying to shore up
its management for nuclear operations.
Not on the official
announcement but disclosed by a company spokesman was that John K.
Wood, vice president of engineering for nuclear operations, "left"
the company effective Friday. Spokesman Todd Schneider declined to
say, however, whether Mr. Wood was fired or resigned.
Wood previously was vice president at Davis-Besse and was based at
Davis-Besse in his latest job, in which he oversaw the Oak Harbor
plant and FirstEnergy’s two other nuclear plants. The vacancy means
the engineering directors at each nuclear plant will temporarily
report to the vice presidents at each plant. Those engineers will
report to Gary Leidich, who arrives in about two weeks as executive
vice president of FirstEnergy’s Nuclear Operating Company, Mr.
Other changes include James J. Powers being
named director of nuclear engineering at Davis-Besse, replacing
Steve Moffitt, who was demoted to manager of power upgrades and
other functions at FirstEnergy’s Perry nuclear plant near
Mr. Powers, former director of engineering at
Perry, is to focus on getting Davis-Besse’s reactor back in service,
Mr. Schneider said. He will report to Howard Bergendahl, vice
president at Davis-Besse, a post he assumed in January.
plant has been idled since February, when it was shut down for
normal maintenance but after which a corroded reactor head was
discovered, resulting in a lengthy search for a fix. The company
that owns Toledo Edison now hopes to replace the reactor head and
have the plant operating by year’s end, but federal regulators must
agree to the work before that can happen.
William R. Kanda
was promoted by FirstEnergy to vice president from plant manager at
the Perry plant, replacing Guy G. Campbell, who was moved to a new
position of vice president overseeing the decommissioned No. 2
reactor at Three Mile Island and the Saxon research reactor being
decommissioned, both in Pennsylvania.
Timothy S. Rausch was
promoted to plant manager at Perry, a post Mr. Kanda had held. Mr.
Rausch formerly was director of work management and maintenance at
The round of management changes in FirstEnergy’s
nuclear operations was the second in a month. Three weeks ago the
company said it was installing a new management layer to oversee
Davis-Besse and two other nuclear plants. That group included Mr.
Leidich and Lew Myers, named the first chief operating officer of
the utility’s nuclear operations subsidiary.
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