Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., parent of Jersey Central Power & Light, announced today the retirement of JCP&L President Don Lynch, effective June 3.
Lynch will be replaced by James V. Fakult, formerly president of Maryland Operations, according to an announcement from First Energy. Lynch is retiring after 37 years with the Morristown-based utility.
According to the announcement, Lynch joined JCP&L in 1976 as a power station engineer and was promoted to various management positions throughout the company's generation operations. In the mid-1990s, he began working on the utility side of the company, ultimately being named regional president of central New Jersey for GPU in 2000. After the merger of FirstEnergy and GPU in 2001, Lynch was named president of the central region for JCP&L, and became regional president for Northern and Central regions in 2005. He was promoted to JCP&L president in 2009.
"Don has been a valued member of JCP&L's management team and I will miss his knowledge, dedication, and the commitment to safe operations he instilled throughout the company," said Charles E. Jones, president of FirstEnergy Utilities, in prepared remarks.
For Lynch and JCP&L, the last year has been a tumultuous one. It has faced withering public criticism from angry customers over long outages in recent storms like Irene, Sandy and the October 2011 snowstorm, and it's seeking a rate hike to help pay for damages incurred during Hurricane Irene in 2011.
According to FirstEnergy, Fakult joined the company in 1987 as an associate marketing representative with Ohio Edison, another FirstEnergy subsidiary. Following a series of mergers and promotions, he was named president of Maryland Operations in 2011.
"Jim has been an important member of our utility management team for years, and was responsible for the smooth integration process we experienced in Maryland as a result of the merger," Jones said in the release. "He has a proven track record of enhancing customer satisfaction and service reliability."