An energetic reception awaits Eversource Chairman Tom May

  • April 14, 2017

Bold Types

APRIL 05, 2017

Former Eversource Energy CEO Tom May doesn’t like to be the center of attention. But with big money on the line for one of his favorite charities, he’ll make an exception.

May will be the guest of honor at the Whittier Street Health Center’s annual fund-raiser April 12, with a goal of raising at least $650,000. He has helped organize previous roasts for Whittier Street; this is the first time he’ll be the one in the spotlight.

Whittier Street chief executive Frederica Williams, who sits on Eversource’s board, says May has provided invaluable help over the years through his advice and financial support. The event is meant to coincide with May’s retirement: He handed the CEO’s job over to Jim Judge last spring, and he steps down from the Eversource board in May.

His ties to Whittier Street go back to the mid-1990s. Former Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Bill Van Faasen introduced May to the group, and May was quickly impressed with its holistic approach to community health.

May is leaving Eversource’s board. But he has plenty of others to keep him busy in retirement: Liberty Mutual, Bank of America, Stonehill College. Most notably, May joined Viacom’s board last year and became its chairman in a shake-up engineered by National Amusements, the majority shareholder of Viacom, led by an ailing Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone.

May says he’s a big fan of new Viacom CEO Bob Bakish’s approach, which includes focusing on Viacom’s flagship TV properties and developing ties between them and its Paramount movie studio.

May concedes he started with minimal knowledge about the media industry, but was excited by the challenge.

“You have to recognize that change is good,” May says. “You’ve got to embrace it and navigate through it. It’s what keeps us young. If it was the same old, same old, it would be pretty boring.” — JON CHESTO

Media Contact: April Celiz
Colette Phillips Communications, Inc.