John Rowe (Exelon)

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John W. Rowe
John W. Rowe
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison
OccupationRetired, Former Chairman and CEO of Exelon Corp.
Spouse(s)Jeanne Rowe

John W. Rowe was the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the energy corporation Exelon Corporation, a utility holding company headquartered in Chicago. Exelon has the largest market capitalization in the electric utility industry. Its retail affiliates serve 5.4 million customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and its generation affiliate operates the largest fleet of nuclear power plants in the nation.

Rowe is best known for his vocal support of the proposed cap and trade mechanism for carbon emission control.[1][2]

His company left the United States Chamber of Commerce over the latter's highly public opposition to cap and trade.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Rowe holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Order of the Coif. 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 is the senior chief executive in the utility industry[clarification needed], having served in such positions since 1984. Rowe has led Exelon since its formation in 2000, after the merger of PECO Energy and the parent of Commonwealth Edison. Rowe previously held chief executive officer positions at the New England Electric System and Central Maine Power Company, served as general counsel of Consolidated Rail Corporation, and was a partner in the law firm of Isham Lincoln & Beale.

Rowe is a past chairman of Nuclear Energy Institute and the Edison Electric Institute. He is also co-chairman of the National Commission on Energy Policy, an industry and environmental organization dealing with climate change. He is a member of the boards of directors of Sunoco, the Northern Trust Company, and UChicago Argonne LLC, which is responsible for governance of the Argonne National Laboratory.

In both 2008 and 2009, Institutional Investor named Rowe the best electric utilities CEO in America. He is also a commissioner on President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future which will provide policy recommendations to the president regarding the storage of nuclear waste, nuclear recycling / reprocessing and nuclear reactor technology.[4]


While CEO of Exelon in 2009, Rowe earned a total compensation of $12,036,882, which included a base salary of $1,468,077, a cash bonus of $1,573,825, stocks granted of $6,341,383, and options granted of $2,236,650.[5]


Rowe is committed to a wide variety of civic and charitable activities, with a focus on education, science, history and diversity. He serves as chairman of the Illinois Institute of Technology and President of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. He is the former chairman of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Chicago History Museum. He is a member of the boards of the Field Museum and the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Along with his wife, Jeanne, and son, William, he established the Rowe Family Charitable Trust. The Rowes and the Family Trust have founded the Rowe Professorship of Architecture and the Rowe Family Endowed Chair in Sustainable Energy at IIT, the Rowe Professorship of Byzantine History and the Rowe Family Professorship in Greek History at the University of Wisconsin, the Rowe Professorship in Virology at the Morgridge Institute and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the Curator of Evolutionary Biology at the Field Museum. The Trust also co-founded the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy[6] in Chicago's West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The Rowes serve as patrons of the Pope John Paul II parochial school on Chicago's southwest side and the Rowe Elementary School. Rowe is cochair of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also chairman of the Renaissance Schools Fund, a nonprofit organization formed to fund charter schools in the City of Chicago.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Rowe and his wife, Jeanne, reside in Chicago, as does their son, William, an attorney.


External links[edit]