AKRON, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp., parent company of Penelec, West Penn Power and other utilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York, has promoted its board chair John W. Somerhalder II to succeed Steven E. Strah, who has retired as president and interimn chief executive officer, effective Sept. 16.

“With the board’s continued support, I welcome the opportunity to lead the company during this transition and oversee the continued execution of our strategy to become a more resilient and forward-looking company, positioning the business for long-term stability and success,” Somerhalder said.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff reporter for the Indiana Gazette, a fellow Sample News Group-owned newspaper of the Leader Times.