Craig E. White recently ended a 42 year career with the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) with his retirement on March 1, 2022. For the twelve years prior to his retirement he held the position of President and CEO of PGW and for the 10 years prior to that he performed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this time Craig held various positions including, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Gas Supply, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Manager, Gas Planning and Regulatory Affairs. He has operated at the board level of his organization and many other industry organizations for the majority of his PGW career.
Craig represented PGW, and its owner The City of Philadelphia, in negotiations before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), during the late 80s and early 90s, that “unbundled” or separated the pricing of natural gas sales from the price of transporting natural gas.
This change in FERC regulations, enacted in 1992, ensured that all natural gas suppliers had to compete for gas purchasers on an equal footing. The results of that change accrue benefits to this day, and ensure both a competitive marketplace for purchasing natural gas and improved reliability of supply.
In fact, Craig’s focus on changes that benefit PGW’s customers has been at the heart of his 42 year career at the nation’s largest municipal natural gas company.
After working his way up through the ranks in the finance and gas management departments, Craig became the Vice President, Sales and Marketing in 1998. In this role, he took direct responsibility for finding and capitalizing on new revenue sources as a way to reduce the cost burden carried by PGW’s 500,000 residential customers. In 1999, Craig’s portfolio expanded farther and he became Senior Vice President, Marketing and Gas Supply.
This position allowed Craig to enhance PGW’s ability to purchase, market and sell natural gas, introducing new efficiencies and slowing the impact of operating cost increases on customers.
In recognition of his work to make PGW leaner, more impactful and more successful, Craig became the company’s Chief Operating Officer in 2001. In that role, Craig worked to move PGW into a new era of financial viability and transparency. He worked closely with Chief Executive Officer Tom Knudsen, both appointed by Philadelphia’s Mayor, to turn the company into a leading asset on behalf of the fifth largest city in the country.
Since becoming CEO in 2011, Craig has continued that work, moving PGW into new arenas, including natural gas vehicles, combined heat and power, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales. These fast emerging markets, combined with the current low-cost fuel environment, represent the greatest opportunity for growth and increased success seen in generations.
As Craig says, the natural gas industry is evolving at a fast – and accelerating pace. With Craig as CEO, PGW was re-positioning itself for success; this 185-year-old company is now behaving more like a nimble start-up than an old-line utility: pursuing new opportunities, fostering innovation and unshackling itself from the aversion to change that was a hallmark of natural gas and electric companies.
Until his date of retirement Craig sat on the boards of the American Gas Association, the Northeast Gas Association, the National Petroleum Council and the Energy Association of Pennsylvania. Additionally, until his retirement, Craig was the Co-Chair of the Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team. Craig is currently a Director for Delaware Valley Citizens Crime Commission and Jefferson Health. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Kutztown University, an MBA from Drexel University and has completed executive development programs at Drexel University and Harvard Business School. He is also a supporter of the local GESU School, which his grandson attends and the Boy Scouts of America.