Gale Klappa was appointed executive chairman of WEC Energy Group effective Feb. 1, 2019.
Klappa previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of WEC Energy Group after being reappointed in October 2017 to provide leadership and continuity following a medical setback that sidelined his successor. Prior to his reappointment, Klappa served as non-executive chairman of WEC Energy Group after retiring as CEO in May 2016.
Based in Milwaukee, WEC Energy Group is one of the nation’s premier energy companies, serving nearly 4.7 million electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
Klappa has more than 40 years of experience working in the public utility industry, and more than 25 years at the senior executive level. From May 2004, Klappa served as chairman and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Energy and We Energies. Under his leadership, the company successfully completed its 2015 acquisition of Integrys Energy Group, at which time he assumed those same roles for WEC Energy Group.
Prior to joining the company, Klappa held executive leadership roles at Southern Co., a public utility holding company serving the southeastern United States. With his extensive experience, Klappa leads the company and board with a deep understanding of the investment decisions and public policy issues facing large public companies.
Klappa joined Wisconsin Energy as president in April 2003. He was elected to the company’s board of directors in December 2003.
Previously in his career, he served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Southern Co. in Atlanta, Georgia. Klappa also was chief strategic officer at Southern Co., North American group president of Southern Energy Inc., and president and CEO of South Western Electricity — Southern Co.’s electric distribution utility in the United Kingdom. Before his assignment in the U.K., he was senior vice president of marketing for Georgia Power Co., a subsidiary of Southern Co.
Klappa is a 1972 graduate cum laude of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
In 2011, Klappa received an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree from UWM in recognition of his support for UWM’s growth initiative, his leadership in helping to shape the economic future of southeast Wisconsin through the launch of the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development initiative, and his extensive community involvement.
Klappa is a member of the board of directors of Associated Banc-Corp. He is co-chair of the Milwaukee 7. In addition, Klappa owns a minority interest in the Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association franchise.
Currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), he was MMAC chairman from 2007 to 2009. He also serves on the UWM School of Business Advisory Council.
Klappa previously served as a member of the board of directors for Joy Global Inc. from 2006 to 2017 and Badger Meter Inc. from 2010 to 2023.
He served as a director of the Edison Electric Institute for more than a decade and was a trustee for the Electric Power Research Institute from 2008 to 2015. He served as chairman of Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited from 2007 to 2010.
Klappa also has served in a number of leadership roles for organizations creating a brighter future for our communities. From 2006 to 2010, Klappa served on the board of directors of United Way of Greater Milwaukee and from 2010 to 2016, he was a director of the United Performing Arts Fund. He also was a member of the board of trustees of the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2006 to 2016.
Honors and Awards
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