As part of a planned leadership succession process, the board of directors of NextEra Energy Partners, LP appointed John Ketchum chief executive officer (CEO), NextEra Energy Partners, effective March 1, 2022. Jim Robo will remain chairman of NextEra Energy Partners' board until the annual meeting of unitholders, scheduled for April 20, 2022. At that time, it is anticipated that Mr. Ketchum will succeed Mr. Robo as NextEra Energy Partners' board chair and as one of the four NextEra Energy Partners' directors nominated for election by unit holders.
- Rebecca Kujawa is appointed president, NextEra Energy Partners, succeeding Mr. Ketchum. Ms. Kujawa is presently NextEra Energy Partners' chief financial officer (CFO). She will continue to serve as a board director.Kirk Crews is appointed CFO, NextEra Energy Partners, succeeding Ms. Kujawa. It is anticipated that Mr. Crews will be appointed a board director on the date of the annual meeting.
- These changes coincide with the leadership succession process that was announced by NextEra Energy earlier today.
"I am excited and energized to lead NextEra Energy Partners as we continue to grow our portfolio of clean energy projects across the sector," said Mr. Ketchum. "Since its initial public offering in 2014, NextEra Energy Partners has grown through accretive acquisitions and organic expansion to own one of the largest clean energy portfolios in the world. As CEO of NextEra Energy Partners, I plan to continue this focus on growth to ensure we remain well positioned to take advantage of the clean energy transformation reshaping the energy industry."
Mr. Ketchum has a diverse business, finance and legal background with a broad range of experiences across key leadership roles at NextEra Energy and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (NEER). Since being appointed a NextEra Energy Partners' board director in 2016, he served for three years as NextEra Energy Partners' CFO and three years as its president.
Mr. Ketchum holds a Master of Laws degree in taxation and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Law Review and received the Charles E. Whittaker Award for Academic Excellence and the Wilbur L. Pollard Law Review Honor Award as the Law Review's top contributor. Mr. Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and finance, graduating magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona. He also completed the Emerging CFO – Strategic Financial Leadership Program at Stanford University.
Commenting on the transition, Mr. Robo, the current chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy Partners, said, "Since NextEra Energy Partners was formed in 2014 it has been an unparalleled success and the leading clean energy growth vehicle in the space. John has been a key part of NextEra Energy Partners' success and I know he is the right leader to take NextEra Energy Partners to even greater heights. As I hand over my CEO responsibilities to him, I have never been more optimistic about NextEra Energy Partners' future growth prospects."
Mr. Robo has led NextEra Energy Partners as chairman of the board and CEO since its inception in June 2014.
Mr. Robo joined NextEra Energy as vice president of corporate development and strategy in March 2002. A few months later, he was appointed president of NEER and in 2006 assumed the role of president and chief operating officer, NextEra Energy. He became president and CEO, NextEra Energy, in July 2012 and chairman of the board of directors in December 2013.
Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Mr. Robo served in executive roles with General Electric and Strategic Planning Associates, a management consulting firm. Mr. Robo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College in 1984 and his MBA in 1988 from Harvard Business School. He serves on the board of directors of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.
Ms. Kujawa was appointed as CFO of NextEra Energy Partners in January 2019 and, at that time, was also appointed a board director. She joined NextEra Energy 15 years ago in NextEra Energy Marketing and has served as director of investor relations for NextEra Energy and as vice president of business management for the midwest and international region for NEER. In 2015 she was appointed to lead business management for all of NEER, and in March 2019 assumed her current role as CFO, NextEra Energy.
Ms. Kujawa has extensive finance, operations, commercial transactions, risk management, customer engagement and project development experience. Prior to joining the company, Ms. Kujawa worked as senior vice president, research, for Stanford Group Company and senior equity analyst for Avalon Research Group. She also served in sales and international business development roles at several software companies. She started her career as an equity derivatives sales trader for Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York. Ms. Kujawa holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and previously was a member of the New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers' joint committee on the research analyst qualification exams. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public policy studies from Duke University and serves on the board of Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited.
Mr. Crews joined NextEra Energy in April 2016 as vice president, controller and chief accounting officer and was appointed controller and chief accounting officer, NextEra Energy Partners, at that time. In March 2019, when he was named vice president, business management, NEER, he stepped down from his controller and chief accounting officer duties at NextEra Energy Partners.
Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Mr. Crews spent more than 12 years at Deloitte, first as a senior manager and then as a national office clearing partner, consulting with clients in the financial services and energy industries on complex accounting and reporting matters. Between 2013 to 2015, he left Deloitte to work in the office of the chief accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a professional accounting fellow, returning to the firm in July 2015.
Mr. Crews earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Richmond - Robins School of Business.
Given the successful execution of the recent acquisitions from NextEra Energy Resources and a third party during the fourth quarter of 2021, the NextEra Energy Partners portfolio as of year-end 2021 is expected to deliver financial results in excess of the previously announced Dec. 31, 2021, run-rate adjusted EBITDA and CAFD expectations. As a result, today NextEra Energy Partners is introducing revised year-end Dec. 31, 2021, run-rate adjusted EBITDA and CAFD expectation ranges of $1.635 billion to $1.795 billion and $640 million to $720 million, respectively, reflecting calendar year 2022 expectations for the portfolio at year-end 2021.
For year-end 2022, NextEra Energy Partners' run-rate expectations for adjusted EBITDA and CAFD remain unchanged. NextEra Energy Partners' expectations for a Dec. 31, 2022, run rate for adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in a range $1.775 billion to $1.975 billion and CAFD is expected to be in a range of $675 million to $765 million, reflecting calendar year 2023 expectations for the forecasted portfolio at year-end 2022.
From an updated base of its fourth-quarter 2021 distribution per common unit at an annualized rate of $2.83 per common unit, NextEra Energy Partners continues to expect 12% to 15% per year growth in limited partner distributions as being a reasonable range of expectations through at least 2024, subject to the usual caveats. NextEra Energy Partners expects the annualized rate of the fourth-quarter 2022 distribution, which is payable in February 2023, to be in a range of $3.17 to $3.25 per common unit.
These expectations include the impact of incentive distribution rights fees, as these fees are treated as an operating expense.