CenterPoint Energy Inc. recently tapped David J. Lesar, the former head of Halliburton Co., to lead the Houston-based electric and natural gas utility company through its next phase of growth.

David Lesar
David J. Lesar

CenterPoint board began its search in February for an experienced executive leader with a fresh strategic perspective, which is what Executive Chairman Milton Carrol said the company has found in Lesar.

Effective July 1, Lesar became president and CEO of CenterPoint. Previously, he served as the chairman and CEO of Halliburton, the second-largest U.S. oilfield service company by revenue, from 2000 to 2017. He had joined Halliburton in 1993 and served in a variety of other roles prior to taking the reins.

“During his 17 years leading Halliburton, he was the architect of how that company ultimately led the industry in growth, margins and returns,” Carrol said in a statement on June 30. “He will work with the board and the entire CenterPoint Energy team to evaluate, refine and advance our strategy, and then position us to execute on our robust capital plans and seize attractive growth opportunities.”

Lesar recently joined the CenterPoint board as a director and served as chair of the board’s business review and evaluation committee since its formation in early May. Now at the helm of CenterPoint, Lesar said he will be dedicated to accelerating the company's environmental commitments and leadership in emissions reduction, infrastructure modernization and delivering sustainable and cleaner energy.

In a statement commenting on his appointment, Lesar also highlighted the importance of investing in the communities in which the company operates.

“I am devoted to having our employees— including our leadership—and our suppliers reflect those diverse communities, and inclusion is an important part of my vision for how CenterPoint Energy will lead,” he said in the statement.

Lesar succeeds John W. Somerhalder II, who has served as interim president and CEO since February. Somerhalder had also served as a director on the CenterPoint board since 2016. The company appointed Earl M. Cummings, managing partner of real estate fund MCM Houston Properties LLC, to serve as a new independent member of the board in order to fill the vacancy created by Somerhalder’s departure.