How Calvin Butler Jr became the president of Exelon, America’s largest electricity parent firm

BY Nii Ntreh June 25, 2024 6:05 PM EDT

Despite making up 13% of the total population of employees in America in 202, Black people make up less than 6% of the country’s chief executives, according to the latest stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Just about two dozen Black Americans have led Fortune 500 companies in the history of corporate America. In mid-2022, there were only six Black CEOs in the Fortune 500 companies in the United States. Encouragingly, that number reached a historic high of eight in 2023, with the recent appointment of Calvin Butler Jr. of Exelon and Christopher Womack of Southern Company.

Butler Jr. was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of Exelon at the end of 2022.

Butler’s responsibilities in the new role include managing Exelon’s six local electric and gas utilities, including Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO, and Pepco. Serving around 10 million electric and gas consumers in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, the six energy firms collectively form America’s largest utility company by number of subscribers.

Before embarking on a career in corporate management, Butler obtained a solid education from prestigious institutions, laying the foundations for his successful career. He graduated with a Juris Doctor from Bradley University with a bachelor’s degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. 2014 saw the awarding of an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters by Morgan State University to Calvin Butler Jr.

Butler began his career in government affairs, law, and strategy at Central Illinois Light Company (CILCORP, Inc.). Before joining Exelon in 2008, he held senior leadership positions in manufacturing and external relations with the print, digital, and supply chain solutions provider R.R. Donnelley.

Over the years, he has worked as a high-level corporate manager in numerous companies, where his unique talents, expertise, and extensive experience have played a critical role in transforming facets of the American economy.

Butler is currently a member of the audit and nominations/governance committees on the board of directors of RLI Corp. He formerly served as chair of the Gridwise Alliance, an advocacy group that promotes the modernization and innovation of the country’s electrical grid. Additionally, Butler previously served as a committee member for nomination, compensation, and governance on the boards of M&T Bank Corporation and M&T Bank, the latter of which is the main banking subsidiary.

Butler was named Exelon’s President and COO in October 2022 after initially serving as Senior Executive Vice President and COO in October 2021. He was the CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) from 2014 to 2019 and the former CEO of Exelon Utilities since 2019. Butler previously held the post of Senior Vice President for regulatory and external affairs at BGE. Additionally, he has served in several executive capacities at ComEd, most notably as Vice President of government and legislative affairs and later as Senior Vice President of corporate affairs.

Butler not only sits on the Exelon Board but also chairs the boards of the BGE, ComEd, PECO, and PHI – Exelon’s Operating Companies. He is on the board of RLI Corp. (NYSE: RLI) and serves as Vice Chair of the Institute of International Education (IIE). He also sits on the board of his undergraduate alma mater, Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and several non-profit organizations in the regions where Exelon conducts business. Butler also serves as a member of the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress.

 Due to his leadership and dedication to uplifting communities, he has received awards from numerous organizations. The Daily Record included Butler in its list of the “Power 100” in 2021 and ranked him among the top 35 Marylanders in terms of influence and three times as one of the state’s “Most Admired CEOs.”

He received the BEYA Chairman’s Award in 2020 which recognizes Black leaders who have made significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In the same year, he was recognized as one of Zpryme’s “ETS Thought Leader of the Year” and as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s “Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America,” which honor individuals who possess the “innovative and visionary mindset needed to inspire the global energy ecosystem towards sustainable modernization.” The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award was given to him by the Boy Scouts of America in 2019. Calvin Butler Jr. participates actively in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

According to Simply Wall Street Pty Ltd, the yearly compensation of Calvin Butler Jr. is $6.29 million, comprised of 14.8% salary and 85.2% bonuses, including company stock and options.