FirstEnergy Blown by Governance Deficiency, Fires CEO

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The Independent Review Committee of the Board of Directors of FirstEnergy Corp. announced in a Form 8-K filed on October 30, 2020 a leadership transition, including the termination of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Charles E. Jones, effective immediately. FirstEnergy also announced the termination of two other executives: its Senior Vice President of Product Development, Marketing, and Branding; and its Senior Vice President of External Affairs, effective immediately. During the course of the Company’s previously disclosed internal review related to the government investigations, the Independent Review Committee of the Board determined that these executives “violated certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct.”

Steven E. Strah, President of FirstEnergy, has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Consequently, S&P Global Ratings lowered the Company’s and its subsidiaries issuer credit rating to BB+ from BBB. The two-notch downgrade reflects the termination of the Company's CEO, Chuck Jones and two other executives, for violating company policies and its code of conduct. The ratings agency views the severity of these violations at the highest level within the Company as demonstrative of insufficient internal controls and a cultural weakness. S&P Global also views these violations as significantly outside of industry norms and represent a material deficiency in the Company's governance.

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