Minneapolis, August 25, 2011 — Ben Fowke became chairman, president and chief executive officer of Xcel Energy Inc. He succeeds Richard C. Kelly, who announced at the company's annual shareholder meeting in May that he would retire in August. Fowke previously was president and chief operating officer.
Kelly retires after 43 years with Xcel Energy and predecessor companies, serving as chairman and CEO for the last five years.
"I follow a great leader in Dick Kelly," Fowke said. "He deserves a great deal of credit and thanks for his leadership."
Fowke added, "While enjoying an industry leading environmental reputation, Xcel Energy is a company that will fare well in the future because it delivers value to both our customers and shareholders through forward-looking plans that ensure extremely reliable service at a reasonable price."
Before assuming his current responsibility, Fowke, 53, held a variety of executive positions at the company, including executive vice president and chief financial officer from December 2008 to August 2009; vice president and CFO from May 2004 to December 2008; vice president, CFO and treasurer, October 2003 to May 2004; vice president and treasurer, November 2002 to October 2003; and vice president and CFO of Energy Markets business unit, August 2000 to November 2002.
Prior to the 2000 merger of Northern States Power Co. and New Century Energies (NCE) to form Xcel Energy, Fowke was a vice president in the NCE Retail business unit. Earlier in his career, he worked for 10 years with FPL Group Inc., where he held various management positions.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from Towson University and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1982. He is a member of the board of directors of the American Gas Association, the Minnesota Orchestra, Energy Insurance Mutual and the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. He is a member of the board of advisors for the University of Colorado Denver Business School. He also serves on the advisory board of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association in Minneapolis.