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David Wade

EPB President David Wade will succeed Harold DePriest as head of the city-owned electric utility.

EPB directors today elected Wade to serve as CEO of EPB, effective Sept. 1.

Wade, a 33-year engineer at EPB, will become only the seventh leader of EPB since its creation by the city of Chattanooga in 1938 as one of TVA's biggest power distributors.

Wade, who helped develop EPB's community-wide fiber optic network, was previously elected president and chief operating officer of EPB in February. He joined EPB in 1983 as a line helper and has served in a variety of management posts over the past three decades.

DePriest, 67, has headed EPB for the past two decades and is retiring next month after 45 years with the utility.

EPB serves more than 170,000 residents and businesses with electricity and more than 82,000 customers with internet, cable TV or telephone services in a 600-square-mile area of Chattanooga.

"David Wade has long excelled as a leader who puts our customers at the center of everything EPB does," said EPB Board Chairman Joe Ferguson. "David is also a visionary leader with a deep understanding of technology. He has played a critical role in transforming EPB's culture and in leading the deployment of Chattanooga's fiber optic network and smart grid. He is uniquely qualified to build on EPB's record of success."

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