Vistra President Jim Burke to Become Company’s Chief Executive Officer
Vistra announced that its board of directors has named longtime company executive Jim Burke as its next chief executive officer, effective Aug. 1. Mr. Burke, who currently serves as president and chief financial officer, will also join the company’s board upon assuming his new role. Vistra’s current CEO and board member, Curt Morgan, has been at the helm since late 2016 and will stay on as CEO through the summer for a transition period. The transition from Mr. Morgan to Mr. Burke is a product of the company’s formal succession planning process.
“Leading Vistra has been the most rewarding experience of my 40-year career,” said Morgan. “This company is filled with some of the most dedicated, innovative, and talented people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Together, since Vistra became a public company in October 2016, we’ve created significant value for our shareholders, transformed our company, including in the areas of DEI and ESG, and firmly established Vistra as a leader in the country’s energy transition. Now is the right time for this leadership transition. The company is strong with the right strategic direction and capital allocation plan. And importantly, Jim Burke is the right person for the job. We will work together like we always have to make this transition productive and seamless. I have known Jim for many years and worked closely with him while at Vistra. He has impeccable integrity, is a proven leader, possesses deep experience in our company and industry, and understands the company’s commitment to all of our stakeholders. I’m excited to watch him lead Vistra to continued success.”
Scott Helm, Vistra’s chairman of the board, added, “On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Curt for his vision, commitment, and leadership. When Curt joined Vistra, it was a single-state power company, heavily reliant on coal. Under his leadership, it has grown into one of the largest power producers and retailers in the United States. While achieving this tremendous growth, Vistra has also significantly reduced its carbon footprint by retiring coal-fueled power plants and is rapidly growing its zero-carbon portfolio – Vistra Zero – all while returning a substantial amount of capital to its financial stakeholders. His steadfast leadership has been critical as the company navigated the coronavirus pandemic, kept our employees safe, and advanced Vistra’s positions on climate change and ESG. When Curt leaves later this summer, he will leave the company in a position of strength, and we are grateful. Jim Burke has been with Vistra and its predecessor companies for nearly 20 years and is a seasoned leader with extensive experience running both our retail and power generation businesses. He is committed to Vistra’s success and is the right person to lead Vistra and build on Curt’s accomplishments. I join Curt and our fellow board members in expressing our confidence in Jim, and I look forward to working together with him as we continue to build Vistra for the future while delivering value for our stockholders.”
See related article: Russell Reynolds Associates Appoints Global Head of Sustainability
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume the responsibility of leading Vistra,” said Burke. “I am grateful to Curt for his guidance and support, and I appreciate the confidence that he and the board have in me. Vistra is my home, and I look forward to working with our extraordinary team to build on our successes and capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.”
Vistra anticipates it will name Burke’s replacement as CFO prior to Aug. 1.