n 2006, Robert v.d. Luft retired as the chairman of our Board of Directors after eight years of service in that position. Under his leadership, Entergy's market capitalization grew from less than $7 billion at the time Bob became chairman to more than $19 billion at the end of 2006.
A retired senior vice president of DuPont who also served as chairman of the board of DuPont Dow Elastomers, president of DuPont Europe and chairman of DuPont International, Bob was elected chairman of Entergy Corporation in mid-1998. Shortly after Bob became chairman, the Board of Directors launched a turnaround strategy designed to increase shareholder value by narrowing the company's focus on fewer businesses that were aligned with Entergy's core competencies, by divesting underperforming businesses and by restoring the company's overall financial health.
The strategy has delivered strong results for owners and earned recognition from various industry organizations. Entergy was recognized by Edison Electric Institute for having the top total shareholder return for the five-year periods ending September 30, 2003 and September 30, 2004. The company twice received EEI's highest honor, the Edison Award, in 2002 and 2005 and was named 2002 Power Company of the Year and 2003 Global Energy Company of the Year by Platts/Business Week Global Energy Awards.
With his focus, discipline, attention to the details that matter most to our customers and owners, and generosity of spirit in dealing with employees, Bob has had a significant impact on our organization – an impact that has forever changed the way we do business and the way we see the world around us.