Days After Closing Big Texas Acquisition, Sempra’s CEO Announces Her Retirement

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Debra L. Reed, Chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy. Photo courtesy Sempra Energy

Just days after completing the acquisition of Texas’ largest utility, Sempra Energy’s Chairman, President and CEO Debra L. Reed announced plans Monday to retire on Dec. 1.

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The company’s board of directors have elected Jeffrey W. Martin, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer, to succeed Reed. Joseph A. Householder, corporate group president of infrastructure businesses, was named president.

“Last month, I reached my 40th year in the Sempra Energy family of companies,” said Reed, who is 61. “We are close to concluding several of our major growth initiatives, such as expanding in Texas with our acquisition of a majority interest in Oncor and the anticipated launch of our liquefied natural gas export business in Louisiana next year.”

“Our California and South America utilities continue to perform at a very high level, providing safe and reliable service to their millions of customers and innovating to adapt to future market needs,’ she added.

Jeffrey W. Martin. Courtesy Sempra Energy

Martin, 56, has served as San Diego-based Sempra’s executive vice president and chief financial officer since January 2017. He has worked for Sempra companies for 13 years, and served as CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric from 2014 to 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas, El Paso, and a law degree from the University of Miami.

Householder, 62, has served as corporate group president of infrastructure businesses for Sempra since January 2017, overseeing the company’s operations in midstream, LNG, renewable energy and Mexico. From 2011 to 2016, Householder was Sempra’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. He joined the company in 2001. Householder holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Loyola Law School.

“A key priority in our decision was to ensure ample transition time for a smooth leadership succession,” said William C. Rusnack, Sempra’s lead director. “In her seven years as CEO, Debbie Reed has sharpened Sempra Energy’s strategic focus and led the company to new heights. Under her leadership, Sempra Energy’s market value has more than doubled to nearly $29 billion.”

“Debbie has built tremendous value for shareholders, taking our subsidiary, IEnova, public in Mexico, launching our LNG export business and, most recently, guiding the successful acquisition of a majority interest in Oncor, the largest utility in Texas,” he added.

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Reed joined the company in 1978 as an energy systems engineer at SoCalGas. In 1988, she became the first female officer at SoCalGas and then served in a series of increasingly responsible leadership positions.

She is one of 27 female chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, and, from 2011 to 2017, was recognized as one of Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.” Reed also was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the nation’s most influential female CEOs.

Sempra is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2017 revenues of more than $11 billion. Including Oncor, the Sempra companies’ approximately 20,000 employees serve 43 million consumers worldwide.

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