Citizens Energy Group- which operates Citizens Gas and Citizens Water – has made two very important announcements. First they announced that the compensation, the pay, of their top execs, which had been strongly criticized for excessive increases is being reduced. The pay for Citizens CEO is being cut 32% and pay for other top execs is being reduced 6% to 12%. But, at the same time, a change of leadership has been announced at one of Indianapolis’ biggest utilities that’s history making for the African-American community. Citizens Energy Group, – announced that current President & CEO Carey Lykins will retire June 30, 2015 after nearly 42 years of service to company and Indianapolis. Jeff Harrison, currently Citizens Senior Vice-President, Engineering & Sustainability will succeed Lykins. Harrison has been promoted to Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) during the nine months before Lykins official retirement. Harrison becomes the first African-American to head an Indianapolis based utility company. In the early 1990’s , Vicki Bailey headed Public Service Indiana (PSI) the electric utility serving Central Indiana outside of Marion County. In the last decade, David Gaddis headed Veolia Water, which was the operator of Indianapolis Water Company. Announcing this transition, Citizens Board President Dan Appel said, “Carey Lykins is a visionary CEO who has led the transformation of Citizens Energy Group into the diverse utility service company our founders envisioned 127 years ago. Carey’s leadership has been the driving force behind unprecedented growth for the Trust as it has remained an industry leader for customer satisfaction and operational excellence.”
Lykins has been a visionary Indianapolis leader through his leadership with United Way, Develop Indy, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and American Heart Association. Lykins spearheaded the successful acquisition of Indianapolis’ water and wastewater utilities by Citizens. Dan Evans, President of Citizens Board of trustees said, “Carey’s success as CEO of Citizens Energy Group has been grounded in his personal commitment to doing what is best for employees, customers and the long-term integrity of the Trust’s vital utility systems.” Lykins who joined Citizens in 1973 as a cashier and rose through the ranks in a number of key positions before becoming President/CEO in 2005 said, “I am enormously grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to lead the dedicated employees of Citizens Energy Group. I am confident Jeff Harrison will provide the dynamic leadership necessary to ensure Citizens remains a driving force for improved quality of life and economic development in Central Indiana.” Citizens’ new leader, Jeff Harrison, joined Citizens in 2003 as Director of Market Development. He moved through a number of key positions including Vice President, Manufacturing and Senior Vice President Capital Program & Engineering in 2011. Before joining Citizens, Harrison served thirteen years at Indianapolis Power & Light in positions of increasing responsibility including Corporate Strategist. Jeff Harrison has a BS degree in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from Indiana University. Harrison’s volunteer efforts including serving on the boards of the Center for Leadership Development, the Indianapolis Zoo, Goodwill Education Initiatives Inc., Marian University, and the YMCA.