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John Rowe: Bio

Marketplace Staff Nov 9, 2009

John Rowe’s Bio

John W. Rowe is the chairman and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation, a utility holding company headquartered in Chicago and one of the largest electric utility companies in the country.

Rowe became a player in the utility industry when he was just 38, as the new CEO of Central Maine Power even though his contact with the industry had thus far been indirect at best. Originally trained as a lawyer, Rowe’s first gig was at a law firm in Chicago where he specialized in cases related to the nuclear power industry. To his own surprised, he liked the subject, so when the Maine job opened he threw his hat in the ring. That move would translate into a life-long career in the power industry. After fove years at Central Maine Power, Rowe became CEO of New England Electric in Massachusetts. In 1998, he began as chief of Unicom, a big regional utility in Chicago. In 2000 he engineered Unicom’s merger with Philadelphia’s PECO to create Exelon, his new home.

As a leader, Rowe is down to earth, direct and hands on. He answered his own emails, and is known to attend the most, humble, grassroots meetings in person, instead of sending a minion. His style is bore from childhood. He grew up on in Wisconsin on a dairy farm, went to a one-room school, and had parents that lived through the Depression and who believed that hard work is the only thing that matters.

Rowe holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He has also received that university’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Rowe holds honorary doctorates from the University of Wisconsin, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Drexel University, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Bryant College and Thomas College.

Rowe and his wife, Jeanne, reside in Chicago. Their son, William, is an associate at the Chicago law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom.

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