DTE Energy names Norcia new CEO, Anderson board chair

Detroit — DTE Energy Co.'s board of directors has elected a new CEO.

Jerry Norcia, currently president and chief operating officer of DTE, will succeed Gerry Anderson as the head of the Detroit-based energy company effective July 1, officials said Monday. The transition comes at a time when the energy industry is undergoing transformational changes to rely less on coal and more on renewables and natural gas.

Anderson will continue full-time as the executive chairman of the board. The board elected Norcia Sunday as a part of a multiyear succession plan, said Anderson, who has worked with Norcia for more than 15 years since he joined DTE in 2002.

Jerry Norcia, DTE Energy president and chief executive officer.

"I felt Jerry was ready," Anderson told The Detroit News. "We've started pushing more responsibilities over to him, and we've gone above and beyond to prepare him for this role. I really felt he was ready. I really did feel like it was one of my responsibilities to make this transition."

Upon filling the post of chief operating officer in 2016, Norcia was responsible for strategic oversight and operations of the utilities and non-utilities businesses. Prior to that, he was president of the gas storage and pipelines businesses and the company's gas and electric divisions.

Norcia steps into the c-suite as DTE boosts its efforts to cut carbon emission by 80% by 2040 through the decommissioning of coal-fired power plants. Those plans remain on track, Norcia said, adding that the company also is investing in renewables and is doubling its wind construction over the next five years. The company also is building a $1 billion natural-gas-fired plant in St. Clair County, which is expected to begin operation in 2022.

"Gerry Anderson has created a really strong future for DTE," he said. "Personally, I think it's a really, really exciting time to be in the energy industry. We're changing the way we produce energy with solar, wind and gas-fueled generation. We're reducing carbon emissions while keeping our product reliable and affordable. We haven't renewed this much infrastructure since World War II."

Gerry Anderson

Norcia outlined a vision for the future over the next decade with more technology and automation that would allow the company to more easily switch from one circuit to another, for example, to restore power more quickly.

"It'll certainly change the way we do business," he said. "We're going to see more electric and gas construction all the while we're trying to manage customers' bills to keep the product affordable."

As executive chairman, Anderson will be an adviser to Norcia on business issues and will focus on DTE's community, political and industry outreach. He joined DTE in 1993 and has held several senior executive leadership positions throughout the company. DTE named him president in 2004, CEO in 2010 and chairman in 2011.

Under his leadership, the company's stock price has increased by 185% to more than $130. DTE also established goals to reduce its carbon emissions and rely more on renewable resources. Its pipeline and industrial businesses also grew through acquisitions and deals with companies such as Ford Motor Co. to represent nearly 30% of its revenues.

Anderson in recent years also has taken on larger roles in community organizations. he will continue as chairman of the Detroit Regional CEO Group, the recently created Detroit Regional Partnership economic development engine and the Detroit Economic Club. In the coming years, he also will lead the Edison Electric Institute, a national association of electric companies, and is in the line of succession for the Business Leaders for Michigan. Anderson also chairs several nonprofit organizations.

"I think the role that we've been taking as a company has arguably been expanding," Anderson said. "There's an opportunity to play in those roles that I think would be good for the company for the communities we serve."

DTE Energy's electric company unit serves 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and its natural gas company serves 1.3 million customers in Michigan.