In its Biz Talk blog, the San Francisco Business Times says Tony Earley is “calming the waters” since he joined PG&E Corporation as its chairman, CEO and president in 2011.
Reporter Lindsay Riddell says that she and her editor were struck during an interview by the fact that Earley, who ran utilities in Michigan and New York for 30 years before joining PGE, is such a straight-shooter.
In response to questions about his toughest business decision and his best business decision, Earley had the same answer. When the recession hit, Earley was the head of DTE Energy, the largest Michigan utility headquartered in Detroit. He asked employees to help him cut $100 million in expenditures out of the business – promising them that if they did, he wouldn’t have to lay anyone off.
“I swallowed hard when I made that decision,” Earley said.
But it ultimately was the right thing to do, he said.
Earley says his biggest challenge is making sure that PG&E regains the trust of its customers, regulators and political leaders. In the next year, he said, “The company will reemerge as one obsessed with outstanding customer service.”
Earley is the subject of the Business Times’ Executive Profile in the current issue of the publication. (A subscription is required to read the entire profile.)