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Reading the tea leaves on Heather Zichal's exit from ACP

A photograph of Heather Zichal speaking in front of a blue screen at a conference.

Heather Zichal speaks at a conference in 2017. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Heather Zichal said she was departing American Clean Power, after less than two years as its CEO, a move that took industry insiders by surprise.

Why it matters: Zichal and ACP's influence weigh heavy across the industry, as the lobbying group has aspired to be the voice for the clean energy and the climate tech sector. Her departure could have ripples.

Driving the news: Zichal is joining JPMorgan Chase as its global head of sustainability.

  • "It’s perhaps the only job that could entice me away from ACP," Zichal wrote in a blog post yesterday.

The intrigue: Clean energy executives and lobbyists tell Axios that the move caught them off-guard.

  • Trade group execs in D.C. tend to stay in their roles for a long time: Abigail Ross Hopper has led the Solar Energy Industries Association since 2017. Mike Sommers has been president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute since 2018 β€” succeeding a predecessor who'd held the role for 10 years.
  • Plus, ACP is barely two years old.

Catch up fast: Zichal joined ACP after serving as White House energy adviser during the Obama administration.

  • She went on to lead ACP through bruising political fights, cobbling together a coalition from a wildly diverse set of energy sectors.

Meanwhile: Zichal leaves on a high note with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act β€” even if ACP's role in advocating for the climate bill was simply as part of a broader coalition.

πŸ‘€ What we're watching: Who is tapped to take over as ACP's next CEO, how soon ACP manages to recruit that person β€” and whether the new CEO manages to keep members in line.

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