Geisha Williams

When you become the first ever Latina CEO of a Fortune 500 Company it’s safe to say you’ve had a pretty good year. That is precisely what Geisha Williams accomplished when she was named Chief Executive Officer and President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company in March of 2017.

Like any person who has achieved a level of unprecedented success it did not come without perseverance, passion and good old fashion ganas. Nor did it happen overnight. The newly minted jefa brings three decades of experience in the energy industry to her current role and a lifetime of facing and overcoming obstacles.

So how did Williams make business history? She attributes accomplishment, in part, to an ability to embrace change. As she told Fortune Magazine “I’ve got revolutionary blood in my blood.” To know her backstory is to believe her. Born in Cuba in the 1960’s, her family immigrated to the United States when they became disillusioned with Castro’s suppression of free speech. After an ever so brief stint in Illinois, they laid down roots in New Jersey, opening a grocery store and building upon those efforts.

By the tender age of seven years old, it was easy to see she had the makings of a CEO, as she became equal parts student, translator for her parents, manned the register at the store part time and tended to her younger sibling. She would go on to attend the University of Miami and major in engineering. Those college years would prove pivotal as it was then that she would land a part time job at Florida Power & Light, her first foray into the energy industry, and a place that would remain her work home for over 25 years as she ascended the ranks.

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Then came PG and E. A company that had to reinvent itself and put power in places it had never been, for instance fueling stations for electric cars. Yet, she would help do just that. Serving ten years as President of the Electric division of PG & E helping not just to overcome but become a leader in the industry.

Personal drive, passion and energy like that, its no wonder she’s the boss.

Image Credits:
© Getty Images Entertainment/Paul Morigi
© Getty Images Entertainment/Paul Morigi

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