Ed Kelley’s final term on the CPS Energy board of trustees will end on Jan. 31, 2022.
Ed Kelley’s final term on the CPS Energy board of trustees will end on Jan. 31, 2022. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Members of CPS Energy’s board of trustees were hoping to punctuate Fiesta this week with an announcement that former CEO Doyle Beneby would be returning to the position he left in October 2015. Instead, the board quickly went into private executive session on Wednesday afternoon to discuss its CEO search.

“We’re moving on and deciding how we want to proceed,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said before the session began.

Beneby withdrew his name from consideration on Saturday after interim CEO Paula Gold-Williams sent out an email on Friday informing employees that a deal had been reached with a candidate. While she didn’t refer to him by name, sources in and outside CPS Energy said the utility had all but signed a deal with Beneby.

Board Chair Ed Kelley said the public scrutiny of the CEO’s generous compensation package was probably a factor in Beneby’s decision. Beneby is now CEO of Chicago-based New Generation Power International (NGPI), an international independent renewable energy company, but still lives in San Antonio.

“I want to make sure that the board (members are) all on the same page in terms of the things that are important to us,” Kelley said, who also leads the board two-member search committee. International headhunting firm Korn Ferry compiled a list of “several” viable candidates after a finalist dropped out of consideration in February.

“We have not looked at them yet,” he said, becuase when Beneby expressed interest in returning earlier this year, Kelley’s efforts were focused on getting the highly-regarded CEO back. “During that time I really wasn’t thinking of other candidates.”

Beneby also sits on Korn Ferry’s board.

Taylor stopped short of saying she had “hoped” Beneby would return.

“Certainly he was a known entity – we knew what his track record was so, from that perspective, it was a comfortable situation (for him to return),” Taylor said. “I certainly wish him the best. He still lives in San Antonio and I’d love to call on him to do some other things here in town. We’ll just have to move forward.”


Top image: CPS Energy board Chair Ed Kelley listens to discussion during a board meeting.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. She was the San Antonio Report's...