PG&E Corporations has named Patricia Poppe, former CEO at CMS Energy and its subsidiary Consumers energy, as its new Chief Executive Officer and member of its Board of Directors. She will replace interim CEO at PG&E, William Smith, on January 4, 2021.
“We all recognize that PG&E must continue to improve, adapt, and become more resilient to the changing climate. As the leader of Michigan’s largest utility, Patti has embraced technology and put the company on a course to achieving its ambitious clean energy goals while maintaining steady and safe performance, prioritizing customer service, and advancing workplace equity,” said in a statement Robert Flexon, Chairman of PG&E Board of Directors.
He noted Poppe as an exceptional leader, with experience, drive and character. “She knows the utility industry top to bottom and has a deep understanding of what it takes to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy to millions of customers.”
“We are delighted to welcome her to PG&E and look forward to working closely with her to meet the challenges ahead as we continue to enhance the company’s culture and improve its operations,” he concluded.
This is not the first CEO position for Ms. Poppe, as she headed CMS Energy since 2016. As she prioritized operational safety over all, accidents during her term declined more than 70% at CMS Energy.
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Clean energy leadership by Patricia Poppe
Thanks to her leadership, in 2019 Consumers Energy was ranked top quartile performance company by the Edison Electric Institute’s utility standards in safety performance. Nevertheless, safety was not her only objective.
Under her leadership, costumers of CMS and Consumers were able to save almost $600,000 on their energy bills, through efficiency programs, totaling customer savings to $3,1 billion in 2009.
Decarbonization and the increase of renewable energy use were top priorities for Poppe, too. During her time in CMS and Consumers, Patricia Poppe led significant initiatives to boost energy efficiency and clean energy programs; including a net-zero carbon goal for 2040.
Thanks to all of this, “Patricia Poppe was ranked by Institutional Investor magazine as second of 44 utility CEOs; third of 47 utility CEOs for 2020 and 2021, respectively”, the report highlights.
Her appointment as CEO was backed by a national search by PG&E for candidates, both inside and outside the utility of energy industries. After several months of deliverance, she was finally appointed.