RWE Board Names Chief Executives, Approves Dividend Suspension

RWE AG’s supervisory board appointed the management for Germany’s largest power producer and the separate company that will pool its renewables, grid and retail operations. It also approved the suspension of dividend payments to most shareholders.

Current CEO Peter Terium will head the spinoff company from next month while his deputy Rolf Martin Schmitz will take over what remains of RWE after the initial public offering of the new unit targeted later this year, Essen-based RWE said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.

RWE Chief Financial Officer Bernhard Guenther will take on the same position at the new company from April. His successor at RWE after the spinoff’s IPO is Markus Krebber, who currently heads the utility’s supply and trading unit.

RWE executives Martin Herrmann, Hans Buenting and former BDEW utility lobby chairwoman Hildegard Mueller were appointed chief operating officers for the spinoff’s retail, renewables and grid operations respectively.

RWE and its peers are struggling with wholesale electricity prices languishing near their lowest levels since 2002. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s unprecedented shift to renewable energy has squeezed the margins at traditional coal and gas plants in Europe’s biggest power market. Utilities are also putting aside billions of euros to pay for the nation’s exit from atomic energy by 2022.

The proposal to only pay a dividend on preferred stock this year was made last month by the management board and still needs approval of the company’s annual general meeting scheduled for April 20. RWE suspended payment of its ordinary dividend for the first time in at least half a century. 

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