Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Coming Changes Challenge CEO Steve Moore Groomed to Lead OG&E into Future

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Coming Changes Challenge CEO Steve Moore Groomed to Lead OG&E into Future

Article excerpt

Steve Moore takes over as chief executive of OG&E Electric Services in what are clearly watershed times.

The specter of deregulation, the industry's biggest challenge in almost a century, looms large. Change, be it simple amendment, a restructuring or full repeal, is coming.

"This is really a historical time for our industry, not just OG&E," Moore acknowledged.

"The challenge is to make sure our company is properly positioned for those changes and we have an input into the process to make sure those changes are appropriate for all the stakeholders."

OG&E had been grooming Moore to succeed chairman Jim Harlow since last year, when Moore was named president of the electric utility.

The timing of that succession, however, came sooner than planned due to the short illness and death of Harlow earlier this year.

Harlow, who had led OG&E through its most difficult periods since becoming chief executive officer in 1976 and chairman in 1982, died of cancer in early June at the age of 62.

"Even though I'm new in the top spot at OG&E, I've been a part of the transition that's been going on for some time," said Moore, who was named chief executive officer at the company's annual meeting in mid-May and chairman two weeks later.

"I worked closely with Jim Harlow for a number of years and I plan to continue the same strategy," Moore said.

OG&E's view of deregulation holds that Oklahoma, with some of the lowest electric rates in the country, should take a cautious look at the concept before making any changes.

"Because our rates are very low, certainly this state doesn't need any untested experimental type drastic solutions," Moore said. "I think the low rates of our state give Oklahoma the luxury to be slow and be patient.

But Moore said he would support deregulation if it can be proven to be beneficial to all stakeholders, including customers and shareholders.

"I think OG&E and Oklahoma will do very well in the future if the markets are completely opened up and fairly opened up with deregulation.

"The thing I fear is if Oklahoma would open up first and open up our borders and have other states' borders closed to Oklahoma suppliers," Moore said. …

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