Corporate Alerts

HACR Applauds Appointment of Geisha Williams as President & CEO of PG&E

Williams to become the first female Hispanic CEO of a Fortune 500 company in U.S. history; will take over the position on March 1, 2017

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) applauds the selection of Geisha J. Williams as the next President & CEO of PG&E Corporation.

Williams will become the first Hispanic woman ever to serve as President & CEO of a Fortune 500 company in U.S. history. Williams will succeed Anthony F. Earley, Jr. and will take over the position on March 1, 2017.

“Geisha Williams has broken a major glass ceiling for Latinas in Corporate America. We are very pleased with PG&E Corporation’s decision to select Geisha Williams as the company’s new President & CEO,” said Cid Wilson, President & CEO of HACR. “She is a highly qualified corporate executive who has made great strides at PG&E. We congratulate Williams on her new leadership role and commend the PG&E board of directors for selecting her to lead the company.”

Williams, who is Cuban-American, joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company, PG&E Corporation’s utility subsidiary, in 2007. She was named executive vice president, Electric Operations in 2011 before achieving the title of president, Electric and being appointed to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Board in 2015. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Miami and a master's degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. A trustee of the California Academy of Sciences, Williams also serves as the board chair for the Center for Energy and Workforce Development, and as a director of the Edison Electric Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. In addition, she is active in Executive Women in Energy and the University of Miami President's Council.

For over three decades, HACR has been tracking Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America. According to the 2015 HACR Corporate Inclusion Index, Hispanics held just under four percent of executive positions, while Hispanic females held less than one percent of those positions. With the news of Williams’ selection as CEO of PG&E Corporation, the total number of Hispanics serving as CEO of Fortune 500 companies will increase to ten. According to Fortune Magazine in June 2016, there was a total of 21 women serving as CEO of Fortune 500 companies.

The appointment of Williams is a big milestone for the Hispanic community, but there's still more work to do. The time is now for Corporate America to pledge to change the status quo. Companies must follow suit and work harder toward building a pipeline of talent to appoint leaders from diverse backgrounds to executive positions and harness the strength of Hispanic inclusion in the C-Suite.

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