PROGRESSIVE POLICY MEETS PROGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP
BY TOM LINQUIST
I had the pleasure of visiting Pedro Pizarro, CEO of Edison International in his Los Angeles office for this conversation as part of what will be a bit of a sub-series introducing some of the recently appointed CEO's in the utility industry.
Edison International (Ticker: EIX) is the publicly-traded holding company for regulated utility Southern California Edison and a small array of non-regulated investments plus Edison Energy. At $11.5 billion in annual revenue, and serving 15 million customers, the company is one of the largest utilities in the country.
Our interview will delve deeply into one of Pedro’s priorities for positioning their utility, Southern California Edison (SCE) to help the state of California achieve its very ambitious, legislatively-mandated targets for reducing greenhouse gases by 2030.
The path ahead for Pedro and Edison with respect to his plan to: “help catalyze all the efforts to support reducing greenhouse gases” is uncharted and unprecedented. To achieve the targets, it is not enough for California to decarbonize the electric power sector – they need cooperation and electrification from other sectors.
As fitting context for this interview, in our last podcast episode, Episode 8, we illustrated through our interview with Susan Story, CEO of American Water, how success in the public utilities industry requires industry leaders to lead “beyond their authority” – that is, leading beyond the boundaries of their corporations. We discussed that continuously achieving safe, clean, reliable, affordable service is dependent upon public policy, legislation, and regulatory relationships which in turn require leaders to lead and influence beyond the boundaries of their corporations.
California legislation presents a stage set for leadership of this nature. This includes a plot thickened by the stark disparity between California and Federal, climate and renewable energy policy. But there are no scripts for this story. The action will be carried out by a talented troop of improvisational actors.
Pedro Pizarro BIO
Mr. Pizarro has been the President and CEO of EIX since October 2016. Prior to that, he served as President of EIX from June 2016 to September 2016 and President of SCE from October 2014 to May 2016.
Mr. Pizarro has held a wide range of executive positions at the EIX companies since joining EIX in 1999. From 2011 through March 2014, he served as President of EME, an indirect subsidiary of EIX that filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Pizarro served as Executive Vice President of SCE from 2008 to 2011, responsible for SCE’s transmission and distribution system, procurement of conventional and renewable power, and gas-fired and hydroelectric power production facilities. He also previously served as Vice President and Senior Vice President of Power Procurement, and Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, among other executive roles.
Prior to his work at the EIX companies, Mr. Pizarro was a senior engagement manager with McKinsey & Company, providing management consulting services to energy, technology, engineering services, and banking clients.
He is a director of the Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute, and is a member of the Board of Governors of Argonne National Laboratory. Mr. Pizarro is a graduate of Harvard University and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
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