Sempra Energy has announced that Jessie J. Knight, Jr., executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy and chairman of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), plans to retire Nov. 1. Steven D. Davis, currently president and chief operating officer of SDG&E, has been elected to succeed Knight as executive vice president of external affairs and corporate strategy for Sempra Energy, effective Sept. 26.
In his new role, Davis, 59, will report directly to Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy, and oversee all of Sempra Energy’s communications, government relations, regulatory and international affairs activities, as well as corporate social responsibility and long-term strategy review. Once Davis’ new appointment is effective, Knight, 64, will continue on as a Sempra Energy executive vice president and chairman of the two California utilities until his retirement.
Davis has served as president and chief operating officer of SDG&E since January 2014. Previously, from 2012 to 2014, he was Sempra Energy’s senior vice president of external affairs. Prior to that, he was Sempra Energy’s vice president of investor relations and corporate communications and, from 2006 to 2010, Sempra Energy’s vice president of communications and community partnerships.
Previously, Davis served as senior vice president of external relations and chief financial officer for SDG&E and SoCalGas from 2004 to 2006. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of customer service and external relations for SDG&E and SoCalGas and vice president of distribution operations for SDG&E.
Davis first joined SDG&E in 1980 as an associate accountant and then served in a series of increasingly responsible positions in accounting and regulatory, governmental, community and environmental affairs.
Davis is a board member of the Western Energy Institute and also serves on the board of the California Chamber of Commerce.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University, where he graduated with honors.
Knight has been Sempra Energy’s executive vice president of external affairs and SDG&E’s chairman since January 2014. He became chairman of SoCalGas in March 2014. Previously, Knight was CEO of SDG&E from 2010 to 2014. He joined Sempra Energy in 2006 as executive vice president of external affairs.
From 1999 to 2006, Knight was president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. From 1993 to 1999, Knight served as commissioner for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), after being appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Prior to his appointment as a CPUC commissioner, Knight was employed as executive vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.