10 Things You Didn’t Know about FirstEnergy CEO Charles E. Jones

Charles E. Jones is the CEO of FirstEnergy. In short, FirstEnergy is an electric utility that serves around 6 million customers in states such as Ohio, New Jersey, and New York. As such, Jones presides over one of the biggest corporations in the United States. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Charles E. Jones:

1. Studied Electrical Engineering

While he was at the University of Akron, Jones studied electrical engineering, which encompasses a wide range of specialties such as electronics, microelectronics, and power engineering. As such, his subsequent career at an electric utility makes perfect sense in light of his education.

2. Was a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Since he was an electrical engineer, it should come as no surprise to learn that Jones was once a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. After all, said organization exists for the purpose of furthering electrical engineering, electronic engineering, and a number of related professions. Something that has seen it rise to become the single biggest association of technical professionals that can be found in the entire world.

3. Has a Framed Photo of Thomas Edison in His Office

It is interesting to note that Jones has a framed photo of Thomas Edison in his office. Furthermore, the framed photo was presented to Jones by his uncle, who had it in his office when he was working at General Electric.

4. Used to Play Basketball

When he was a child, Jones played basketball. However, he has stated that he was so bad at it that his father, his brother, and his neighbor would have arguments about which of them would have to team up with him. In time, Jones became better, as shown by the fact that he went on to become an All-City basketball player.

5. Started Seeking an Appointment to a Military Academy When He Was 14

Jones started seeking an appointment to a military academy when he was 14 because he knew that he was going to have to pay for college. As a result, he started sending a letter to his congressman every few months, which would contain his report cards as well as various newspaper clippings about him. Eventually, Jones got called in by the congressman’s office, which told him that he would get the appointment, meaning that he could stop contributing to a file that was already 3 inches thick.

6. Left Naval Academy Because of Change in Eyesight

When called in by the congressman’s office, Jones said that he wanted to go to the U.S. Naval Academy because he wanted to become a pilot. However, a change in eyesight meant that Jones’s dream became impossible while he was still at the academy, which is why he left. With that said, the U.S. Naval Academy had a lasting effect on Jones, seeing as how that was where he started considering electrical engineering as a career.

7. Lead Negotiator for the FirstEnergy Stadium Name Change

Over the course of his career at FirstEnergy, Jones has handled a wide range of tasks. For example, he was the lead negotiator for the name change that resulted in FirstEnergy Stadium, which is where the Cleveland Browns play.

8. Believes in Balancing Stakeholders

Jones has stated the need to avoid favoring any particular group of stakeholders over the others. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, stakeholders mean everyone with an interest in a corporation’s doings, meaning that the term includes shareholders, employees, customers, and more.

9. Believes in Finding Common Ground

On a related note, Jones has stated that a negotiation in which someone comes out boasting about victory wasn’t a good negotiation. This is because as far as he is concerned, a good negotiation is reliant on both sides finding common ground, meaning that there is a bit of give and take from both sides.

10. Came to the Position Promising More Transparent Business Practices

Jones rose to the positions of CEO and President in 2015. When that happened, he promised to be more transparent about FirstEnergy’s business practices. Something that explains much about his statements on balancing stakeholders as well as finding common ground with both internal and external parties.


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