VOORHEES, NJ, Dec. 12, 2013 -- Jeff Sterba, president and chief executive officer of American Water Works Company Inc. (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly-traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, recently announced that he will retire from the company on May 9, 2014. American Water's current Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Susan N. Story will succeed Sterba as president and CEO at that time.
Sterba joined American Water as CEO in 2010. Under his leadership, the company delivered solid earnings per share growth more than doubling its equity share price and market capitalization, while strengthening its balance sheet with increases in revenues, net margin and cash flow. At the same time, the company achieved its O&M efficiency rate goal through effective cost management and increased efficiencies. American Water also established its portfolio optimization strategy and grew both its regulated and market-based businesses.
During Sterba's tenure, American Water became the first U.S. water utility named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. Beyond his achievements at American Water, Sterba also became a thought leader in the water industry, testifying before Congress numerous times as well as helping to launch the Value of Water Coalition, an alliance made up of both public and private members of the water industry working to educate the public on the importance of clean, safe and reliable water.
"I am so proud of what the American Water employees have achieved in the past few years," said Sterba. "While I will miss the committed and dedicated people of American Water, I know I will leave the company in incredibly capable hands, ensuring a pathway for sustainable and profitable growth."
Before joining American Water, Story served as executive vice president of Southern Company, one of America's largest generators of electricity serving both regulated and competitive markets across the southeastern United States. In that role, she was also president and CEO of Southern Company Services, providing a wide array of shared services across the company's geographic footprint. She also served as president and CEO of Gulf Power Company, a Florida subsidiary of Southern Company, and as Southern Company's executive vice president of Engineering and Construction Services.
Story has a history of active involvement in community, industry, education and economic development efforts. She currently serves on the Bipartisan Policy Center Board of Directors in Washington, D.C., and as a member of the Moffitt Cancer Center Board of Advisors in Tampa, Fla. She was recently the national chairman for the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and served on the boards of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). In her time in Florida, she was a member of the Florida Board of Education, appointed to the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, appointed chair of the state's economic development public-private partnership, and was an appointee to the Tax and Budget Reform Commission, required every 20 years by the Florida Constitution.
She attended executive education programs at Duke University and Oxford University, and completed international business studies at Cambridge University and leadership studies at Harvard. She earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed additional post-graduate coursework in the Master of Finance program at the University of Alabama focusing in financial derivatives, and at the Birmingham School of Law focusing on torts and contracts.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be part of this top-notch leadership team and these highly committed employees," said Story. "We look forward to carrying on the tradition of excellence and outstanding performance that Jeff Sterba established during his time leading this great company."
Sterba will stay on as an advisor to Story to ensure a smooth transition until January 1, 2015. American Water expects to name Story's CFO successor prior to May 2014.
About American Water
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.