Peoples Reorganizes to Enhance Its Utility Operations

Announcing that it wanted to enhance its utility operations "while maximizing the potential of its diversified businesses," Peoples Energy Corp. said last Thursday it would reorganize its personnel management, as well as consolidate its support services into a new business services unit. Among the many changes, Tom Patrick, president and COO and a company director, added the title of vice chairman of the operating subsidiaries.

"The changes we are announcing today continue to sharpen our focus on the performance of the individual business units, as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of corporate functions," said CEO Dick Terry.

Don Field, executive vice president, was named president and COO of the company's utilities, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, while Desiree Rogers, now chief marketing officer, was moved to senior vice president of the corporation and its utility subsidiaries. Charles Thompson, vice president of the gas operations, assumes the new title of senior vice president for gas operations for Peoples Gas. James Luebbers, CFO and controller, is now vice president, strategic reorganization. Thomas Nardi, now president of Peoples Energy Services, was named CFO, succeeding Luebbers who will retire next April.

The Chicago-based diversified energy company also announced the consolidation of its support services into a new business services unit, comprised of information technology services, human resources and other administrative functions, which Patrick said would "focus on the efficiency and quality of support services provided to our business units." Peoples has five primary business units: gas distribution, power generation, midstream services, retail energy services and oil and gas production.

Earlier this month, Peoples announced a special early retirement program for its non-union employees, which will result in a one-time charge to fiscal 2001 earnings. Assuming half of the 170 eligible employees participate, Luebbers said the program would yield annual labor savings of about $7 million. Benefit payments will be borne by the company's pension plan trust.

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