Chairman & CEO
San Diego Gas & Electric
Jessie J. Knight, Jr., since 2010, has been the current chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric, a Sempra Energy utility that serves 3.4 million customers with revenues of nearly $3.7 billion and approximately 5,000 employees.
Previously, Knight served as Executive Vice President of External Affairs for SDG&E’s parent company, Sempra Energy, overseeing media and stakeholder communications and public affairs, government relations, regulatory affairs, regulatory compliance, and international affairs for the $12 billion global energy services company.
From 1999 – 2006, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the 2,800–member San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, representing over 400,000 employees, the largest business organization in California and the third largest Chamber of Commerce in the Western United States.
Mr. Knight began his corporate career in 1975 with Castle & Cooke foods, where he worked 10 years in both domestic and international operations. Beginning as Division Financial Analyst for the banana operations in Honduras, Central America, he was later promoted to Senior Marketing Analyst for Dole’s Coca Cola corporate franchise in Latin America, and the company’s product line of Salva Vida beer products under Dole’s subsidiary, Cerveceria Hondureña.
After returning to the United States, Mr. Knight was promoted through the ranks of marketing management for the organization’s world–wide pineapple and seafood businesses, ending his ten–year career with 3–1/2 years as Marketing Director for Dole’s U.S. and Canadian canned and juice retail grocery products divisions.
From 1985 and until 1992, Mr. Knight was Vice President of Marketing for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner Newspapers. While there, he won an unprecedented five national Clio Awards for television, radio, and print advertising, and a Cannes Film Festival Golden Lion Award for business marketing.