Tony Earley named chair of Detroit Zoological Society

Neal Rubin
The Detroit News

Anthony "Tony" Earley Jr., a former chair and CEO of DTE Energy, has been elected board chair of the Detroit Zoological Society. The society operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.

Tony Earley

Earley, 69, succeeds Lloyd Semple, a former dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Semple will remain on the board after serving four years as chair.

Earley's selection was made June 19, according to the zoological society, and announced Wednesday. He had been a board member from 1995 to 2011, the year he left Metro Detroit to become chairman, CEO and president of PG&E in northern California.

He left that position in December 2017 and moved shortly afterward to Bloomfield Hills with his wife, Sarah, who chairs the nonprofit Belle Isle Conservancy.

Earley is a former U.S. Navy submariner who holds degrees in physics, engineering and law from Notre Dame.

A 2003 Detroit News Michiganian of the Year, he serves on the corporate boards of Ford Motor Company, Southern Company and CLEAResult, and on the nonprofit boards of  United Way Worldwide and the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco.

In another change on the zoological society board, Kristy Fercho, president of mortgage for Flagstar Bank, has been elected to a three-year term.