SAN ANTONIO – The 10-month national search for the president and CEO of CPS Energy hit close to home. Paula Gold-Williams had served as the company's interim head since November after two failed attempts to re-hire her predecessor, Doyle Beneby.
“I was doing the job. I was doing good in their opinion and it just began to make sense,” Gold-Williams said.
A St. Mary’s University graduate, who was raised on the East Side, she had served as CPS Energy's chief financial officer since 2008, after joining the company in 2004.
Gold-Williams also held similar positions with Time Warner Cable and Luby’s.
“We’re always thinking fiscally how we can achieve the same benefits at lower costs, and really drive more value,” she said. “But I also bring business and practicality, objectivity, teamwork -- the kind of things that (are) really effective for the company.”
Gold-Williams was given a 3-and-1/2-year contract and earns $415,000 as her base salary.
She said although it took nine months to hire her, “We’ve not skipped a beat. It’s been a great process. We’re right where we need to be.”
Gold-Williams said she has a “people first” philosophy in overseeing 3,000 employees and the customers they serve. “I look at it as a business trinity, employees, customers and community,” she said.
Despite CPS Energy’s 155-year history, she said, “You’ve really got to sit back and think, 'Are you doing the best you can?'”
Gold-Williams said she decided, “We could do better with our call center. We could do better helping developers and contractors.”
She said as a result, more people are being hired to handle those responsibilities.
“We’re ready to go. Employees say they get it. They’re moving forward, so we’re in a great position right now,” Gold-Williams said.