MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xcel Energy announced today that Bob Frenzel has been appointed president and CEO of the company. Ben Fowke, the current chairman and CEO will remain at Xcel Energy as executive chairman of the Board of Directors. Tim O’Connor was also named executive vice president and chief operations officer.
“I am humbled and honored today to take over as CEO of Xcel Energy. It’s been a privilege to work alongside Ben for the last five years. I am grateful for his leadership, vision and careful stewardship of this great company. This is an exciting time to be in the energy industry, and I look forward to leading us into the future with a focus on our strategic priorities, including being an agile and innovative company and our commitment to elevating the customer experience,” said Frenzel.
Frenzel joined Xcel Energy as chief financial officer in 2016, leading the company’s finance, tax, accounting and corporate development functions, as well as its subsidiary companies. He was named president and chief operating officer in March 2020, where he oversaw Xcel Energy’s four operating companies, along with its transmission, distribution and natural gas operations.
“Bob is an outstanding leader, and I am confident he will champion Xcel Energy’s strategic priorities including leading the clean energy transition and enhancing the customer experience while keeping customer bills low,” Fowke said.
As executive chair of Xcel Energy, Fowke will focus on national energy policy and will continue to work closely with Frenzel.
Tim O’Connor has served as Xcel Energy’s EVP and chief generation officer since 2020, and now moves into the role of chief operations officer where he will oversee nuclear generation, energy supply, supply chain, commercial operations, distribution, transmission and the company’s natural gas business.
“Tim is an exemplary leader and well-known expert in the energy industry. Since he joined Xcel Energy in 2007, he helped build one of the top-performing nuclear fleets in the nation. Under his leadership, the company has continued reducing carbon emissions, while maintaining industry-leading reliability,” said Frenzel.
Frenzel served as chief financial officer for Luminant, the Energy Future Holdings, Inc. competitive power generating subsidiary, prior to his roles at Xcel Energy. He also worked as vice president in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, following his tenure as a manager and senior consultant in the strategy, finance and economics practice at Arthur Andersen. After college, he served in the United States Navy for six years, working as a nuclear engineering officer and weapons officer. Following active duty, he served in the Navy Reserves and was promoted to lieutenant commander. Frenzel earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Frenzel serves on the board of directors for Patterson Companies and is chairman of its audit committee. He is also on the board of directors for the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, where he chairs the governance committee, and he serves on the executive committee of the American Gas Association.
Tim O’Connor received his mechanical engineering degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and has completed several executive business programs. He serves on the executive advisor group for the DOE/INL Nuclear Science and Technology areas, the Holtec Decommissioning Industry Advisory Group, and is a member of the NEI industry labor management committee and Terrestrial Energy Industry Advisory Committee. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Minneapolis St. Paul Jeremiah charitable organization for single mothers.
Fowke was named Xcel Energy’s chair, president and CEO in August 2011, and during his tenure the company has met or exceeded its carbon reduction goals and financial commitments every year. Under his leadership, Xcel Energy became the first major energy company in the nation to announce a vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to its customers by 2050. The company has already made significant strides toward that vision, achieving a 51% carbon emissions reduction in 2020, compared to 2005 levels. Fowke also launched the company’s Steel for Fuel strategy which led to one of the largest multi-state wind energy expansions in the country, making Xcel Energy one of the only companies with more than 10,000 megawatts of wind energy on its system.
As CEO, Fowke became a national leader among his energy industry peers and served as chairman of the Edison Electric Institute, the national association of investor-owned electric companies, where he remains on the Board of Directors. He has also served on the board of the Nuclear Energy Institute and will continue to serve on the board of the Institute of Power Operations. He remains a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a private-public partnership that advises the President and governmental agencies on mitigating risk and ensuring the integrity of the country’s critical infrastructure. Fowke is also on the Board of Directors of Securian Financial and Energy Insurance Mutual.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.