COLUMBUS, Ohio - American Electric Power’s Board of Directors has appointed Julie A. Sloat as president and chief financial officer, effective immediately.
She has been elected chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1. Sloat is AEP’s 11th president and will become the seventh CEO in the company’s 116-year history. She is currently executive vice president and CFO. The company expects to name a new CFO before Jan. 1.
Nicholas K. Akins, chairman, president and chief executive officer, is stepping down as president as part of AEP’s executive succession plan and will end his term as CEO Dec. 31. The Bossier City native will become executive chair of the AEP Board and will remain an executive and officer of the company. He has been president and CEO since 2011 and chairman since 2014.
“Julie is an exceptional leader who has successfully led key strategic areas for the company,” Akins said. “Her financial expertise and positive relationship with investors have been essential for the execution of our long-term strategy, enabling us to deliver strong earnings quarter after quarter while continuing to raise guidance and provide consistent dividend growth. Her deep understanding of our business and industry, including her experience leading AEP Ohio and our regulatory team, will be critical as we continue to invest in new energy resources and grid enhancements that improve service and reliability, support a clean energy future and provide value to our customers, communities and investors.
“Julie’s engaging leadership style also will continue to enhance AEP’s culture. She is committed to the success of our employees, customers and the communities we serve and is passionate about fostering positive, mutually beneficial relationships inside and outside the company,” Akins said.
“Nick has transformed AEP during the 11 years that he has led the company. His focus on innovation, technology, and modernization of the grid and AEP’s generation fleet is enabling clean, reliable and resilient energy to fuel growth in the communities that AEP serves. He also has built an open, collaborative culture that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, lead director of AEP’s Board.
“AEP is fortunate that Nick has focused on developing a group of strong and capable leaders to ensure the company’s continued success. Julie has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills at every stage of her career, and we are confident in her ability to lead this team. During her time as CFO, she has improved the financial performance of the company, and she also enhanced the performance and culture of AEP Ohio during the transition to competitive markets. The Board is confident that she is the right person to lead AEP during this dynamic time for the industry and the company,” Tucker said.
“This is a time of tremendous change and opportunity for AEP as we invest in new energy technologies and infrastructure to provide clean and reliable energy to our 5.5 million customers,” Sloat said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead an amazing team of nearly 17,000 employees and have seen first-hand their commitment to the communities we serve and ensuring our customers can count on us every day to power their lives and businesses. It’s an exciting time to be in this industry and build on the 116-year legacy of AEP.”
Sloat, 53, has been executive vice president and chief financial officer for AEP since January 2021 with responsibility for accounting and tax, treasury and risk, corporate planning and budgeting and investor relations. She was previously senior vice president, Treasury and Risk and led all elements of the treasury function including the cultivation of banker, investor and rating agency relationships to support the capital needs of the company. She also was responsible for the comprehensive management of the corporation’s risk including operational, market, credit, insurance, enterprise risk management and business continuity.
Sloat also served as president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio, an AEP operating company serving approximately 1.5 million customers in Ohio, where she had responsibility for distribution operations, customer and regulatory relationships and the financial performance of one of AEP’s largest regulated subsidiaries.
Sloat has held several additional key leadership positions since joining the company in 1999, including senior vice president and treasurer; vice president, Regulatory Case Management; vice president, Treasurer and Investor Relations; and vice president, Investor Relations, Strategic Initiatives and Economic Forecasting.
In addition to her AEP career, Sloat was vice president of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations at Tween Brands and a bank debt underwriter and buy side equity analyst at Bank One (JP Morgan). She also worked for M&T Mortgage, a subsidiary of M&T Bank Corp.
Sloat has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Economics and a Master of Business Administration from The Ohio State University. She completed the Nuclear Reactor Technology Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sloat serves on the board of directors for Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. and as the chair of the board of directors for the James Cancer Hospital Foundation. She also serves on the board of Ohio Valley Electric Corp. and Pelotonia.