Geisha Williams says she is “all in”. The new CEO of PG&E, California’s largest utility, is talking about being 100 percent supportive when it comes to bringing clean energy to the Golden State.
She ticks off the accomplishments of the giant utility in meeting California’s strict environmental goals—years ahead of schedule in delivering 50 percent of its power from renewables by 2020, and working quickly to make sure there are charging stations everywhere to meet the state goal of 4 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
“We are first adopters,” says Williams. “We have more solar rooftops than anyone else. More electric vehicles than anyone else. So, no, we don’t have it all figured out, but we’re going to.”
As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, Williams has the enthusiasm and tenacity to succeed at just about everything she does. At 56, she was tapped earlier this year to become PG&E’s chief executive—the first Latina CEO on the Fortune 500. This is also the first year that she has been ranked on Fortune’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Business.
A big believer in renewables and clean energy, Williams says she was “disappointed” when President Trump decided against supporting the Paris Climate agreement and other environmental efforts in the United States. She says she would “love the opportunity” to convince the President to change his mind. “I would say take a look at what we’ve done,” Williams says. “Look at the fact that we’ve improved reliability, improved air quality, created jobs, have a strong economy, and our customer bills are still 20 to 30 percent below the national average.”
Watch the video above to hear more from our conversation with Williams.