Former Exelon CEO Chris Crane remembered for “transformational milestones”

April 17, 2024, 3:02PMNuclear News


Exelon announced that Chris Crane, the company’s former chief executive, passed away on Saturday in Chicago at the age of 65.

Crane served as the company’s president and CEO from 2012 until his retirement in December 2022. During his tenure, he steered the energy company through several transformational milestones, including the successful mergers with Constellation Energy in 2012 and Pepco Holdings in 2016, creating the largest utility business by customer count in the United States.

In 2022, with the spin-off of Constellation as the generation and retail side of energy business (with the largest U.S. nuclear fleet), Crane led the creation of a stand-alone transmission and delivery energy company.

“Chris was an industry giant with a list of accomplishments that chart the growth and success of both the energy generation and utility businesses,” said Calvin Butler, president and CEO of Exelon, who succeeded Crane. “However, what I most appreciate about Chris, and what I know he would want us to remember, is his dedication to our customers and communities. He helped expand our thinking on how an energy company could affect the greater good, launching programs that make up the fabric of Exelon’s culture today.”

Background: In 1998, Crane joined Exelon (then Unicom Corporation), which owns Commonwealth Edison and five other utilities. He was named chief nuclear officer in 2004. In that role he oversaw a broad range of generation and business development initiatives, including improving operations and increasing output of the nuclear fleet and innovative decommissioning strategies. He was named president of Exelon Generation in 2007.

Crane previously had worked for Palo Verde nuclear generating station and Comanche Peak nuclear power plant.

Accomplishments: Under Crane’s leadership, Exelon became an industry leader in grid reliability, developed initiatives to improve safety and customer service, and worked to combat climate change. He was also an advocate for equity-building programs at the company and in the communities served by Exelon, with particular attention to STEM careers for young women and job training and placement for work-ready adults.

In 2017, Crane signed on as a champion of the United Nations’ inaugural HeForShe campaign, committing to invest $3 million in STEM programs for young women and girls and to improve the company’s retention of women. Under his leadership, Exelon signed the White House pay equity pledge and became a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable for excellence in supplier diversity.

Nuclear advocate: Crane held several key industry roles throughout his career, including chair of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and the Nuclear Energy Institute. He also served on the board of the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

“Chris was a respected leader known for his operational expertise and was a friend to me and to so many others in our industry,” said EEI chair Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International. “Throughout his career, Chris dedicated significant time and focus to advancing clean energy sources, especially nuclear energy, and to helping ensure that the clean energy transition benefits customers in all communities.”

“Among his accomplishments as EEI chair, Chris led an initiative to enhance the industry’s workforce development efforts and to address employment gaps and acute socioeconomic needs within underserved communities. He was a champion for high-potential students who aspire to pursue careers in STEM and focused on enhancing STEM/vocational education and awareness opportunities, identifying and eliminating barriers to entry, and creating tangible job opportunities within our industry,” Pizarro added.

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