CMS Energy Announces Patti Poppe Stepping Down as CEO
CMS Energy announced today that Patti Poppe is leaving the company, effective December 1, 2020, to take the position of CEO at PG&E Corporation in California.
Poppe, who is from Jackson where the company is based, said, “Since 2011, I have considered CMS Energy as my home and my co-workers as my family and I will miss everyone immensely.” Poppe’s father was a nuclear engineer for Consumers Power, and she is also an engineer. She worked at General Motors and DTE before taking the helm at Consumers Energy. She has served as President and CEO since 2016. In recent years, the company closed 7 of 12 coal plants, with a plan to replace the remaining five with new renewable energy. Consumers has all but phased out nuclear energy, as they are still buying some energy from the soon-to-be-closed Palisades plant near South Haven.
Garrick Rochow, currently executive vice president of operations, will succeed Poppe as CMS Energy and Consumers Energy president and chief executive officer and on CMS Energy’s Board of Directors.
“Garrick’s leadership approach, vast industry, and company expertise will take CMS Energy and Consumers Energy to the next level,” said John G. Russell, chairman of the CMS Energy Board of Directors. “You can count on CMS Energy to have consistent and predictable performance because of our strong succession planning and the quality of our executive team. I wish Patti the best of luck.”
Poppe said, “Garrick is a world-class leader and will continue to deliver on the triple bottom line of people, planet, and prosperity as we have for many years now.”
Rochow, 46, has been with CMS Energy for 17 years, with over 20 years of industry experience, and has held his current position since July 2016. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s electric and natural gas distribution and transmission operations, generation, and compression operations. Before this role, Rochow served in a variety of leadership positions across the business as Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of distribution and customer operations, vice president of customer experience, rates and regulation and quality, and chief customer officer after serving as vice president of energy delivery. He also works closely with the Michigan Public Service Commission, state and federal legislators and is on the Board of Directors of the Right Place in Grand Rapids.
Rochow graduated from Michigan Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University. He also has attended an executive education program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a company with amazing co-workers who make a difference every day for our customers, investors, and the communities we serve,” said Rochow. “I look forward to continuing our strong operational and financial performance, while creating an environment that keeps our customers and co-workers safe, reflects our culture, and is inclusive and respectful of everyone.”