Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. (B&W), Charlotte, North Carolina, has appointed Leslie Kass to serve as CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors, effective immediately. Former CEO Jim Ferland will work closely with Kass, the management team and the board in the role of executive chairman until he steps down from the board on June 30, per his current employment agreement.
Kass has more than twenty years of engineering, operational and site-level leadership experience with a number of energy and power companies, along with a background in working with the financial community, shareholders and potential investors. She has held several roles of increasing responsibility since joining B&W in 2013, most recently leading B&W’s industrial segment.
“I am excited to take on this new role and to build on the already strong foundation B&W has developed as a leading provider of custom-engineered technologies and solutions and aftermarket services to global power and industrial markets,” Kass says. “We will continue to focus on improving B&W’s profitability, cash flow, financial flexibility and consistency across the organization. I look forward to working closely with the board, Jim, the leadership team and all B&W employees to execute on our strategies to create value for shareholders.”
The board has created a new committee that will work closely with management to oversee the continued implementation of key initiatives launched last year that are intended to achieve an improved business mix, cost structure and capital structure. Members of this committee will initially consist of Ferland, Kass, Stephen Hanks, lead independent director, and two additional independent directors, Brian Kahn and Brian Ferraioli.
“When B&W became a standalone company almost three years ago, I committed to continue as CEO at least until a clearly capable successor emerged,” Ferland says. “I am confident that my colleagues on the board have chosen the right person to lead B&W, and I look forward to working with Leslie over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition as she prepares to lead B&W into the future.”
Additionally, the company has named Mark A. Carano, senior vice president of industrial and corporate development, to lead the Industrial segment effective immediately.