AEP consolidates organization of financial functions

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 8, 2003 - Geoff Chatas, senior vice president - finance and treasurer for American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is leaving the company to accept a similar position with Progress Energy.

In a related organizational change, AEP will consolidate its finance and treasury departments with other financial functions currently reporting to Stephen Smith, AEP senior vice president - corporate accounting, planning and strategy. Smith reports to Susan Tomasky, AEP’s chief financial officer and executive vice president - policy, finance and strategic planning.

Wendy Hargus, currently assistant treasurer and vice president - treasury operations, will assume the duties of treasurer. Hargus will report to Smith. Prior to AEP’s merger with Central and South West Corp. in 2000, Hargus had served as treasurer of CSW.

“Geoff Chatas has been a valuable member of our management team. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” Tomasky said. “With Geoff’s departure, we will change our organizational structure to have treasury and finance join other related functions reporting to Steve Smith, a move that will continue to improve communications between departments involved in financial activities. And Wendy Hargus is extremely well qualified to assume the treasurer’s responsibilities.”

Smith joined AEP in January 2003. Previously he was president and chief operating officer - corporate services for NiSource. His extensive background and expertise includes SEC reporting, risk management, credit, tax, treasury, acquisitions, divestitures, and merger integration activities.

Chatas joined AEP in 1997 and was named to his current position earlier this year.

American Electric Power owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Pat D. Hemlepp
Director, Corporate Media Relations
American Electric Power