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The head of Nebraska Public Power District has announced plans to retire.

Pat Pope, president and CEO of the public power company based in Columbus, announced plans to step down at Thursday's board of directors meeting.

Pope, who has worked for NPPD since 1979, has been in the top job since 2011, making him the second-longest-serving president and CEO in the organization's 50-year history.

“After nine years as president and chief executive officer, now seems like a good time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life," Pope said in a news release.

Pope and the board have been discussing his retirement, and Chairman Barry DeKay said in the release that a succession plan already is in place.

DeKay said that during its March meeting, the board will recommend promoting Tom Kent, currently NPPD's executive vice president and chief operating officer, to president and CEO.

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

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