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CPS Energy president & CEO announces she is leaving company

The press release says that she will work with the Board of Trustees through this transition.

SAN ANTONIO — CPS Energy President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams told the Board of Trustees that she is leaving the company in early 2022.

The company sent out a press release Wednesday afternoon with the details. It stated she will continue to work with the Board of Trustees through this transition. According to CPS Energy's website, she has been with the company for 16 years.

“The Board of Trustees thanks Ms. Gold-Williams for her dedicated tenure as President & CEO of CPS Energy,” said Board Chair Willis Mackey. “We are confident that Ms. Gold-Williams will continue to provide excellent guidance to her employees and the company as we go through this transition period."

She also provided the following statement:

“I am thankful to CPS Energy’s 3,000 exceptional energy experts who have never wavered in serving our customers and our entire Greater San Antonio community. I am so appreciative of how all our employees work collaboratively 24/7/365 to serve, while leading innovative initiatives like our Flexible Path strategy that will have tremendous benefits for our community for years to come.  I will continue to work constructively with the Board and our senior leaders to ensure a thoughtful and productive transition.” 

Last week the COO of CPS Energy resigned. CPS Energy provided the below statement:

/;Chief Operating Officer Fred Bonewell was placed on Administrative Leave on October 11, 2021.  He respectfully resigned verbally, effective today, October 15, 2021, to pursue other opportunities./;

This year has not been comfortable for the CEO. Gold-Williams faces intense scrutiny over the dark and deadly winter storm. Her announcement also comes as CPS Energy wants to raise the rates.

District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez said he admires Gold-Williams.

"She is a good friend of mine," he said. "I have always enjoyed working with her. "I think this year she was dealt with some bad cards by mother nature. I think COVID and people's inability to pay their bills really put a stress on CPS (Energy)."

Pelaez said Gold-Williams has done a lot of good things as CEO.

"My concern is people won't look at the long trajectory of this woman's career and they will just look at the last few months," he said.

District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo, however, said he thinks it's time for fresh leadership. 

"I think there are a lot of things that Paula Gold-Williams did well," he said. "But, I don't think she really understood what it meant to work for a public utility. She didn't understand the transparency and the accountability to the public."

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg also provided a statement to KENS 5 following the announcement of Gold-Williams' resignation. It reads:

“I want to thank Paula Gold Willliams for her service to our community. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.

"CPS Energy is dealing with a number of serious issues simultaneously. The next CEO must ensure that the utility successfully navigates these challenges while ensuring the organization’s stability and addressing the ratepayers’ needs.

"The next CEO must have the vision required to thrive in the fast-changing energy industry environment and to pursue smart energy strategies for the future.”

The board says it will form an executive search committee for a new president and CEO and will provide that information once finalized.

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