Unitil Corporation (NYSE:UTL) in Hampton will undergo a changing of the guard as Robert G. Schoenberger, 67, will retire as chairman, president and CEO on April 25. As part of the Company’s leadership succession plan, Thomas P. Meissner Jr., 55, the company’s senior vice president and COO, has been selected by the board to succeed Schoenberger as chairman, president and CEO on April 25. Meissner is expected to be elected to the board by Unitil's shareholders at the 2018 Annual Meeting for a term of three years.
Schoenberger’s retirement brings to a close a 38-year career in the utility industry, including more than 20 years of continuous service with Unitil. Schoenberger has led the company since 1997. Schoenberger previously served as president and COO of the New York Power Authority from 1993 until 1997.
Under Schoenberger’s leadership, Unitil has grown from a business of 107,000 customers operating in two states with an investment in Net Utility Plant of $151 million in 1997 to one with more than 186,000 electric and natural gas customers operating in three states with an investment in Net Utility Plant of $972 million today.
Meissner has served as the company’s senior vice president and COO since 2005. Throughout his 24 year career with Unitil, he has provided senior leadership responsibility for electric and gas engineering, operations, regulatory compliance and strategic planning.
“I’ve known and worked with Tom for over 20 years and he has been pivotal to the company’s strategic and operational successes,” says Schoenberger. “I have every confidence in his ability to successfully lead Unitil into the future. His extensive experience in our industry, passion for our customers, leadership skills, and focus on results make him the ideal person to lead the Company going forward.”
“I am honored to assume leadership of Unitil and work with an exceptional management team and dedicated employees who are committed to delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers. I look forward to meeting the energy challenges facing New England, furthering our commitment to the customers and communities we serve, and bringing positive results to shareholders,” says Meissner. “We will carry on the service and performance-oriented culture that Bob instilled over 20 years as chief executive officer.”