UC Berkeley press release

NEWS RELEASE, 10/16/97

Richard A. Clarke, Former PG&E Chairman and CEO, to Receive Business Leadership Award from Haas School

by Kathleen Scalise


BERKELEY -- Richard A. Clarke, former chairman and chief executive officer of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, is the recipient of the 1997 Business Leader of the Year Award from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. The Haas School presents the Business Leader of the Year Award annually to an individual whose contributions to the Haas School, to the profession, and to the community demonstrate exceptional leadership skills.

"Dick Clarke is not only a business leader. He stands out as a community leader and an environmental leader," said Haas Dean William A. Hasler. "We welcome his contributions to the Haas community and look up to his integrity and people skills."

Clarke's career at PG&E spanned three decades of unprecedented change. During his 10 years as chairman and CEO, Clarke revolutionized the way PG&E did business and, in the process, positioned the utility for the impending era of deregulation. He retired in 1995.

"Dick Clarke is a natural leader," said Frederick Mielke, who was chairman and CEO of PG&E when he promoted Clarke into its senior management ranks in the 1970s. "He has an ability to bring people together and talk things out and create consensus."

When he took over as chairman and CEO of PG&E in 1985, Clarke led the utility in new directions. PG&E launched programs offering customers zero-interest loans and cash rebates to save

energy so the utility would not have to build new power plants. PG&E invested heavily in alternative energy sources and, as a result, became the largest operator of renewable energy generating plants in the country. PG&E converted much of its transportation fleet into clean air vehicles, including Clarke's own company car.

These efforts earned Clarke national recognition and the respect of customers, environmentalists, and even the White House. In 1991, President Bush presented Clarke with the Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award and appointed him to the Council on Environmental Quality, where he chaired the energy subcommittee. Two years later, President Clinton named Clarke as one of eight business leaders to the President's Council on Sustainable Development, established after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

"I believe that one of Clarke's enduring legacies will be that he helped the environmental community change its perception of utilities," said Ralph Cavanaugh, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "This is someone who was willing to take risks, someone who was willing to be first."

Closer to home, Clarke implemented several workforce programs at PG&E. The company established the first in-house daycare center in the San Francisco financial district and allowed employees to create custom benefit packages. PG&E also established learning centers to keep employees abreast of the latest technologies and competitive business skills.

A Berkeley alumnus who served as student body president as an undergraduate, Clarke received his bachelor's degree in 1952 in political science and his doctor of jurisprudence in 1955 from Boalt Hall School of Law. He remains involved with his alma mater as a longtime trustee of the Boalt Hall Trust. He recently co-chaired the UC Outreach Task Force, which proposed a set of new strategies to help increase the number of underrepresented minority and low-income students qualified to attend the University of California in the post-affirmative action era.

Clarke has been a member of the Haas School Advisory Board since 1989 and serves as the co-chair of the advisory board of the newly created Center for Organization and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE) at Haas. In 1996, he was the Haas School's Executive-in-Residence, teaching MBA and undergraduate seminars and meeting with students.

Clarke will receive the Business Leader of the Year Award at a special dinner celebration at the Haas School on Oct. 17, 1997.

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