CEO Jerry Crouse to Become Tenaska Board Chairman; Chris Leitner, President of Tenaska Strategic Development & Acquisitions to be Next President and CEO
OMAHA, Nebraska – Howard Hawks, Co-founder and Chairman of Tenaska Energy, Inc., and affiliated entities (Tenaska), one of the nation’s largest and most successful independent energy companies, has elected to step back from his role as Chairman of the Board effective January 1, 2023. He will remain actively engaged with the company as Chairman Emeritus and will continue to serve on Tenaska’s Board.
Current CEO Jerry Crouse will transition into the role of Chairman and continue to serve on Tenaska’s Board.
Chris Leitner, currently President of Tenaska’s Strategic Development and Acquisitions Group (SD&A), will succeed Crouse, assuming the role of President and CEO of Tenaska.
Howard Hawks co-founded Tenaska in 1987. He served as Chairman and CEO of the company until 2010 and has continued to serve as Chairman. Under his leadership, Tenaska grew from a small operation in Omaha, Neb., to one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S. Since its establishment in 1987, the company has raised more than $18 billion for its projects through various combinations of commercial banks, capital markets and company-partnership equity.
Hawks was selected as the first independent power representative on the Board of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC). He also served as vice chairman on NERC’s Board and its Executive Committee, and as vice chairman of the Shareholder Committee. Hawks is an inductee of both the Omaha Business Hall of Fame and Nebraska Business Hall of Fame which honor and recognize prominent Nebraskans for their dedication to improving their communities and leaving a lasting impact on the state through their entrepreneurship, philanthropy and high standards of excellence. Hawks and his wife Rhonda are long-time civic leaders and philanthropists. He was elected and served as a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and serves or has served on many boards, including Creighton University, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha Zoological Society, Boys & Girls Club of Omaha, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Methodist Hospital, Heritage Services, Omaha Symphony and Opera Omaha, in addition to other area organizations.
Crouse joined Tenaska in 1991 and has served as President and CEO of the company since 2010. Prior to his role as CEO, Crouse served as chief financial officer. Crouse’s leadership has been pivotal to the growth and success of Tenaska. Under his leadership, Tenaska has grown to more than 700 employees across the United States and Canada; Tenaska Marketing Ventures became the No. 2 natural gas marketer in North America (Platts Gas Daily); and power marketer Tenaska Power Services grew to become a premier energy manager with 1,500 megawatts (MW) of energy storage under management.
“I am grateful for Jerry’s many years of service to Tenaska,” said Hawks. “He has played an integral role in driving growth and innovation in our business, and I look forward to his next chapter as Chairman.”
Leitner joined Tenaska in 2003 as an executive responsible for investing capital and managing energy-related assets. He is a member of Tenaska’s Board and through his role as the leader of SD&A is responsible for strategic planning, business development and project origination throughout North America. Under his leadership, SD&A is developing 16,400 MW of renewable energy projects across North America and is optimizing power generation facilities across the U.S. Prior to his current role, Leitner led the acquisition, optimization and divestiture of 10,500 MW of power generation facilities on behalf of private equity funds managed by Tenaska Capital Management.
“Chris is a strong, strategic and innovative leader with a deep understanding of the energy industry,” said Crouse. “As important, he understands all facets of Tenaska’s culture and history. He is the right leader at the right time to help navigate our company through an increasingly complex and changing energy landscape.”
“Tenaska’s growth, stability and reputation for integrity are the direct result of Howard’s and Jerry’s vision, expectations and leadership,” said Leitner. “I am honored to take on this role and look forward to building on the strong foundation they and my fellow employees have established to expand the set of innovative solutions and services Tenaska provides for our customers and partners.”
These management changes have been thoughtfully considered and planned for as part of the company’s long-term succession planning process. Leitner will be the third executive to serve as Tenaska CEO since the company’s inception in 1987.
Tenaska is proud to be one of the leading independent energy companies in the U.S., with a reputation for high standards and expertise in natural gas and electric power marketing, energy management, development and acquisition of energy assets, and operation of generating facilities. Forbes magazine consistently ranks Tenaska among the largest private U.S. companies. Gross operating revenues in 2021 were $18.4 billion.
Tenaska has developed, managed and/or operated approximately 22 gigawatts (GW) of natural gas-fueled and renewables generation. Its development portfolios include more than 23 GW of solar, wind and energy storage projects. The current Tenaska operating fleet includes 7.5 GW of generating facilities.
Tenaska Marketing Ventures consistently ranks among the top five largest natural gas marketers in North America and is the top-ranked natural gas pipeline capacity trader. Tenaska Power Services Co. is the leading U.S. provider of energy management services to generation and demand-side customers.
Tenaska was named a U.S. Best Managed Company, a recognition given by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal to private companies that demonstrate excellence in strategic planning and execution, corporate culture and financial results.
More information is available at www.tenaska.com. Connect with Tenaska on LinkedIn and Facebook.