SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (January 7, 2009) - John W. Rowe, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., was honored today by his industry peers with the presentation of the Edison Electric Institute Distinguished Leadership Award, in recognition of Rowe's 25 consecutive years of service as an electric utility chief executive officer.
"We are delighted to give this award to John Rowe, a man whose leadership within this industry has been singularly outstanding," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "There is no more fitting way to recognize John's 25 years of service as a CEO, a period that spans fully one-fourth of the history of our industry."
"This is no small achievement given the typical tenure of any CEO today," Kuhn said. "But, more important, John has served with notable distinction in many leadership roles for the industry, including past chairman of EEI and current chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute."
Today's presentation, made during EEI's winter Board of Directors meeting here, was the first time that the association's Distinguished Leadership Award-newly created to recognize outstanding individual achievement-has been given.
Rowe has led Exelon since its formation in 2000 through the merger of PECO Energy and the parent of Commonwealth Edison. Rowe previously held CEO positions at the New England Electric System and at Central Maine Power Company, where he became chief executive in 1984. Prior to that, Rowe served as general counsel of the Consolidated Rail Corporation, and was a partner in the law firm of Isham, Lincoln and Beale.
"Even more impressive than John's resume is his leadership during 25 years of continual change within our industry," observed Kuhn, noting Rowe's significant involvement in every major policy debate ranging from utility restructuring to climate change.
"Throughout it all, John has always been at the table, providing a steady hand and consistently bringing strategic insights to our board and its committees for discussion, resolution and action," Kuhn said. "No less important, John's keen wit and wry sense of humor have often served to defuse a tense moment or leaven a debate."
Most important, Kuhn said, is Rowe's vision and leadership, which has guided, and "sometimes nudged," his industry along the path to success. "John has always taken strong positions to protect the interests of his customers, employees and shareholders," Kuhn said. "We are very grateful for John's contributions over the years, and look forward to working closely with him for the balance of his career."
In addition, Rowe is a co-chairman of the National Commission on Energy Policy, an industry and environmental organization dealing with climate change. He is a member of the boards of directors of Sunoco and the Northern Trust Company. In January 2008, Institutional Investor named Rowe the best electric utilities CEO in America.
Rowe has been widely recognized for his civic and professional leadership. Recent awards include the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce's Daniel H. Burnham Award for Business and Civic Leadership (2008), induction into the Junior Achievement's Chicago Business Hall of Fame (2008), the Civic Federation of Chicago's Lyman Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Leadership (2008), the National Latino Education Institute Corporate Leadership Award (2008), the Illinois Holocaust Museum's Humanitarian award (2008), the University of Arizona's Executive of the Year Award (2007), and the Union League of Philadelphia's Founder's Award for Business Leadership (2005).