Rick Fox is executive vice president, chief operating officer (COO) for Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE: WTRG). Upon the closing of Peoples, Essential will become one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states.
Fox is responsible for the Company’s regulated operations including engineering and environmental compliance.
Fox was named to his current role in July 2015.
Prior to being appointed COO, Fox had been regional president for the Company since January 2012, leading all utility operations in Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia. Prior to assuming the role of regional president, Fox was vice president, customer operations, where he was responsible for all customer service operations for the Company, including the national customer call centers, national meter operations and company-wide billing and collections.
Under Fox’s leadership, the Company has experienced dramatic reductions in workplace injuries, improvements in drinking water quality and reliability and wastewater environmental compliance. Additionally, Fox is credited with the successful combination of the previously independent workgroups of operations, engineering, and environmental management into a cohesive and more collaborative work unit. Under this structure, the Company has been able to leverage the sharing of best practices and utilize the deep expertise of employees across the eight state utilities to improve our service to customers. Further, since 2015, the Company has invested more than $ $2.3 billion in infrastructure improvements including replacing old water mains and rebuilding water and wastewater treatment plants to improve service reliability and ensure compliance with regulations.
Fox joined the Company in 2002 as manager of customer service following 17 years in the chemical manufacturing industry in both operations and technical management.
Education and Professional Memberships
Fox earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his M.B.A from Villanova University, where he achieved Beta Gamma Sigma honors. Fox is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.