Leo Denault is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Entergy Corporation, a role he assumed in 2013. Headquartered in New Orleans, Entergy is an integrated energy company that owns and operates regulated and merchant power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of generating capacity. The company's Utility business serves nearly three million customers in four states in the U.S. Gulf South; its merchant portfolio, among the strongest in the country, comprises nuclear plants that primarily serve the country's northeastern states, including the New York metropolitan area.
Under Denault's leadership, Entergy has taken significant steps to position its Utility service territory as well as its business for continued growth. Efforts include the development of a robust capital plan to modernize and strengthen reliability of the Entergy fleet while maintaining customer rates that are among the lowest in the country. The company has also been recognized as a driving force behind the industrial expansion along the Gulf Coast.
With one of the cleanest generation portfolios in the country and a century-plus history of community development, Entergy is also widely recognized for its contribution to the states and regions where it does business. The company has continued this tradition under Denault: last year marked the thirteenth in succession that the Dow Jones Sustainability Index included Entergy on its World Index, its North America Index, or both, and the fifth year it was named to a ranking of America's top corporate citizens.
In 2014, as a result of these and other achievements, Entergy delivered total shareholder return of nearly 45 percent -- top quartile for the industry.
From 2004-2012, Denault served as Entergy executive vice president and chief financial officer. During his tenure, among other things he strengthened the company's liquidity position, resulting in nearly $4 billion in resources at the end of 2012. He was named to Institutional Investor's 2010 All-America Executive Team and ranked as top CFO in the power industry for two consecutive years. He also ranked among the top five industry CFOs in 2006-2010.
Denault joined Entergy in March 1999 as vice president of corporate development, in which role he counseled every major investment and divestment decision. Prior to joining Entergy, he served as vice president of corporate development at Cinergy Corporation, where he was also involved in every major investment transaction, including the acquisition of generation, distribution and trading businesses.
Denault serves on the board of directors for the Edison Electric Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators, and Jobs for American Graduates as well as the Atlanta Centre Regional Governing Board of the World Association of Nuclear Operators. He has a MBA from Indiana University and a B.S., with a double major in economics and accounting, from Ball State University, in Muncie, Ind.