Great Plains Energy Announces Leadership Team of Combined Company

December 8, 2016 at 8:38 AM EST

Westar Leaders to Join Company Upon Transaction Close in Spring of 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 8, 2016-- Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP), the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), today announced the executive officer team that will lead the combined company once Great Plains Energy’s acquisition of Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is complete in Spring 2017. Once approved by the Great Plains Energy Board of Directors when the transaction closes, the new team will have 19 executive officers with an average of more than two decades of utility experience.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

KCP&L and Westar combined executive officer team (Graphic: Business Wire)

KCP&L and Westar combined executive officer team (Graphic: Business Wire)

“As KCP&L and Westar become one company, we are combining our strengths and expertise to realize our shared vision for the future of energy in the region,” said Terry Bassham, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L. “I’m excited that eight Westar leaders will be in a position to join our team as we expand the geography we serve. Together, we are forging a new path that offers customers more savings and greater reliability, all from a local, trusted team.”

Senior leadership team members reporting directly to Bassham will include:

  • Vice President and Chief People Officer Jerl Banning
  • Senior Vice President, Finance and Strategy and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Bryant
  • Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs and Chief Customer Officer Chuck Caisley
  • Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Ellen Fairchild
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Heidtbrink
  • Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Corporate Services Heather Humphrey
  • Vice President and Chief Information Officer Charles King

More than half of Westar’s current executive officer team are being offered positions in the combined company and will serve in key operations, customer experience and culture roles. The new positions of Chief People Officer and Chief Customer Officer were created in recognition of the importance people and culture play in building a high performing company that provides an exceptional customer experience, while delivering consistent and reliable customer service and shareholder returns.

“People are the heart and soul of a successful company, and that starts with its leaders,” said Bassham. “Westar and KCP&L’s strengths and expertise are mirrored in this team, and our commitment to the communities we serve.”

Westar’s presence in Kansas, like KCP&L’s in Missouri, is an integral part of the communities it serves. While the corporate headquarters for Great Plains Energy will remain in Kansas City, Missouri, leadership team members will be located in Topeka and Wichita, as well as Kansas City, and spend time in communities throughout the combined territory. “We are focused on maintaining a strong Kansas presence and having people in roles where they can help the communities we serve be successful,” said Bassham.

As a combined company, leadership team members and employees serve on more than 315 community, charitable and volunteer boards. In addition, team members have donated more than 35,000 hours and more than $4 million to community and charitable organizations. Further, the combined company invests more than a billion dollars in infrastructure annually to improve reliability and in economic development programs to help attract businesses and jobs to improve the communities it serves.

For more information and an organization chart, please visit

About Great Plains Energy:

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at: or

Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements made in this release that are not based on historical facts are forward-looking, may involve risks and uncertainties, and are intended to be as of the date when made. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to Great Plains Energy’s proposed acquisition of Westar Energy, Inc. (Westar), the outcome of regulatory proceedings, cost estimates of capital projects, and other matters affecting future operations. In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L are providing a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the provided forward-looking information. These important factors include: future economic conditions in regional, national and international markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; prices and availability of electricity in regional and national wholesale markets; market perception of the energy industry, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L changes in business strategy, operations or development plans; the outcome of contract negotiations for goods and services; effects of current or proposed state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments, including, but not limited to, deregulation, re-regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry; decisions of regulators regarding rates the Companies can charge for electricity; adverse changes in applicable laws, regulations, rules, principles or practices governing tax, accounting and environmental matters including, but not limited to, air and water quality; financial market conditions and performance including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and credit spreads and in availability and cost of capital and the effects on derivatives and hedges, nuclear decommissioning trust and pension plan assets and costs; impairments of long-lived assets or goodwill; credit ratings; inflation rates; effectiveness of risk management policies and procedures and the ability of counterparties to satisfy their contractual commitments; impact of terrorist acts, including, but not limited to, cyber terrorism; ability to carry out marketing and sales plans; weather conditions including, but not limited to, weather-related damage and their effects on sales, prices and costs; cost, availability, quality and deliverability of fuel; the inherent uncertainties in estimating the effects of weather, economic conditions and other factors on customer consumption and financial results; ability to achieve generation goals and the occurrence and duration of planned and unplanned generation outages; delays in the anticipated in-service dates and cost increases of generation, transmission, distribution or other projects; Great Plains Energy's ability to successfully manage its transmission joint venture or to integrate the transmission joint ventures of Westar; the inherent risks associated with the ownership and operation of a nuclear facility including, but not limited to, environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks; workforce risks, including, but not limited to, increased costs of retirement, health care and other benefits; the ability of Great Plains Energy to obtain the regulatory approvals necessary to complete the anticipated acquisition of Westar; the risk that a condition to the closing of the anticipated acquisition of Westar or the committed debt or equity financing may not be satisfied or that the anticipated acquisition may fail to close; the failure to obtain, or to obtain on favorable terms, any financings necessary to complete or permanently finance the anticipated acquisition of Westar and the costs of such financing; the outcome of any legal proceedings, regulatory proceedings or enforcement matters that may be instituted relating to the anticipated acquisition of Westar; the costs incurred to consummate the anticipated acquisition of Westar; the possibility that the expected value creation from the anticipated acquisition of Westar will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the credit ratings of Great Plains Energy following the anticipated acquisition of Westar; disruption from the anticipated acquisition of Westar making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees, regulators or suppliers; the diversion of management time and attention on the proposed transactions; and other risks and uncertainties.

Source: Great Plains Energy Incorporated

Great Plains Energy Incorporated
Calvin Girard, 816-654-1777
Senior Manager, Investor Relations
Katie McDonald, 816-447-2118
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Great Plains Energy Media line: 816-392-9455

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