Allen Leverett, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, has suffered an apparent stroke, the company announced in a statement Thursday afternoon.
Leverett is in the hospital and receiving medical treatment, the company said. Gale Klappa was appointed interim CEO today, until Leverett can recover and resume his role.
Klappa, 67, was chief executive officer of WEC and its predecessor, Wisconsin Energy Corp., from 2004 to May 2016, when Leverett succeeded him.
Klappa led Wisconsin Energy Corp. through the $9 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group, which formed WEC Energy Group in June 2015.
Leverett, 51, joined Wisconsin Energy in 2003 as chief financial officer. In 2011, he was named president and CEO of We Generation, Wisconsin Energy’s power generation unit. He has served as president of the company and its predecessor since 2013.
With six utilities serving 4.4 million electric and natural gas customers in four states, WEC Energy Group is one of the largest utilities – and one of the largest corporations – in the country. It has about $30 billion in assets, 8,500 employees and 55,000 stockholders of record.
“Klappa is a steadying force for us and we’re in good shape in that regard, but obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the Leverett family,” said WEC spokesman Barry McNulty.