Longtime Southwest Gas boss is stepping down

Jeffrey Shaw, head of Southwest Gas Corp., is retiring.

The Las Vegas-based natural-gas provider said today that Shaw stepped down as company president on Friday and will retire as CEO on March 1, 2015.

He has spent 26 years with the company, including more than a decade as chief executive.

Shaw is being replaced at the helm by John Hester, who became company president Friday and will take on the CEO’s title next spring.

“Jeff will be missed, but the board is very confident that Southwest Gas will continue to grow and thrive under John’s leadership,” Chairman Michael Melarkey said in a news release.

Hester, a 25-year veteran of Southwest Gas, was promoted to executive vice president last year, overseeing administration, finance, gas resources, legal, marketing and regulatory affairs.

He was the senior vice president of regulatory affairs and energy resources from 2006 to 2013 and vice president of regulatory affairs and systems planning from 2003 to 2006.

Southwest Gas provides natural-gas service to 1.9 million customers in Nevada, Arizona and California.