APS CEO to retire in November, current president to take over

Aug 26, 2019, 7:00 PM
(Photo from Pinnacle West Capital Corporation)...
(Photo from Pinnacle West Capital Corporation)
(Photo from Pinnacle West Capital Corporation)

PHOENIX — Pinnacle West, the parent company of Arizona Public Service Co., announced its CEO will retire in November.

The board of directors announced Don Brandt will retire November 15, after 16 years with the company.

Current APS President Jeff Guldner was elected to the board effective immediately and will become chairman of the board, Pinnacle West president and CEO and APS CEO effective on Brandt’s retirement date.

“I have total confidence that Jeff Guldner and his team will successfully navigate what will be a dynamic and new energy environment for APS and Arizona,” Brandt said in a press release. “This team is prepared to succeed for our customers and shareholders.”

Despite the sudden announcement lead director of the Pinnacle West board, Kathy Munro said the company has been developing an executive office succession plan for some time.

Brandt’s retirement comes with remembrance of some questionable actions taken by APS while he was at the helm.

Brandt was also personally blamed by some after a woman died in her home because her power was cut due to a late payment. Regulators did request that Brandt explains the company policy for turning off power due to late payments.

This wasn’t the only time, however, that a death has occurred from APS shutting off power during high-heat season. In July APS told the state Corporation Commission that they settled lawsuits regarding deaths in 2011 and 2018.

Although his retirement is looming, Brandt plans on appearing before the Arizona Corporation Commission on Sept. 4.

Guldner, the incoming CEO, will also retain his position as APS president. He has been with APS since 2004 and has held high office positions such as EVP of public policy and general council.

“Without question, we face a rapidly changing energy future,” Guldner said. “We remain dedicated to our communities, customers and employees as we provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to our growing state.”

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APS CEO to retire in November, current president to take over