It’s official: Rudy Garza is the first Hispanic CPS Energy President and CEO
He had been in an interim capacity since November 2021, and with his permanent role comes a new salary.
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Nearly 10 months after being named interim President and CEO for CPS Energy, the “interim” tag in front of Rudy Garza’s title has officially been removed.
On Thursday, September 8, CPS Energy’s Board of Trustees announced that it had improved a new contract for Garza to pay him an annual salary of $655,000. In addition to the salary information, it was announced that Garza also has a three-year contract with a two-year extension option.
It will be the first time the utility’s CEO compensation does not include incentive or at-risk pay based on meeting certain metrics.
“We congratulate Rudy D. Garza on his election as President & CEO. He is more than qualified and has proven he has the skills, expertise, leadership and heart to lead CPS Energy,” said Dr. Willis Mackey, CPS Energy Human Resources Committee CEO, in the announcement.
Garza’s appointment, which makes him the first Hispanic to lead the utility company as its President and CEO, was not without some disapproval, however.
Trustee John Steen voted against the appointment, voicing dissatisfaction with both the CEO search process and the selection of Garza.
According to an article published by the San Antonio Report, Steen called Garza “a fine person and capable executive” whose resumé “does not describe a person who’s positioned himself to lead a $13 billion electric and gas utility.”
In response, Vice Chair Janie Gonzalez dismissed those comments as subjective and threw her support toward him.
“At the end of the day, we went through a very thorough process,” said Gonzalez. “That is not a handout; Rudy’s here because he earned this position.”
Since serving as the company’s interim President & CEO, Garza has led the company to the approval of the first rate case in eight years, approval for the next phase of energy efficiency and conservation programs, and discussions with the Board of Trustees and the Rate Advisory Committee on future power generation planning.
“Our accomplishments in my interim role are a testament to our people’s commitment to our customers at a challenging time for our company,” said Garza in a statement.
He added that he is honored to lead the municipal power and natural gas company, and looks forward to the future.
Garza originally joined CPS Energy in 2012 as vice president of operations for over four years before becoming senior vice president of distribution services & operations, and more recently was chief customer & stakeholder engagement officer for the company.
He has over 25 years of experience in the electric and natural gas utility industry, and has served in both the public and private sectors throughout his professional career.
Prior to joining CPS, Garza served as assistant city manager and intergovernmental relations director in Corpus Christi, and also worked for TXU Corporation in Dallas for 13 years.
He is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering before earning an MBA from the University of North Texas.
Established in 1860, CPS Energy is the nation's largest municipally owned energy utility providing both natural gas and electric service, serving well over one million customers in San Antonio and portions of seven adjacent counties.