Get to know Steve Malnight
In your view, what is the biggest challenge facing the electric utility industry?
Our industry is going through tremendous change, but it won’t happen overnight. Customers are going to change how they want to use energy and how they want to interact with us, but in all cases, energy is going to be a critical part of their lives.
One significant challenge that we face is the need to rethink and redefine the products and services we provide. So much of our thinking, and the thinking of customers and regulators, is shaped by the idea that the product we sell is kilowatt-hour
s. In reality, we sell reliability, dependable energy, and in the future, transportation fuel, as use of electric vehicles continues to increase, and energy storage.
To succeed in the years ahead electric utilities will need to rethink the roles of energy and may need to reshape how we structure, provide, or charge for our products and services in the future.
Do you have any role models or people that you have tried to emulate in your professional career?
Growing up my grandfather owned a bakery and everyone in my family worked there from a very young age. Hard work wasn’t an option; it was a family responsibility.
I worked as a baker, a cake decorator, doing deliveries, and working with customers at the front counter. Throughout I watched my grandfather who demonstrated that as the owner of the business, he had to be willing to do anything that was needed for the business to succeed. He demonstrated respect for every employee and their work, and for every customer he interacted with. He was kind and understanding, and purpose driven in his work.
He has always been my model of what a CEO should be.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
As I was once told by someone I truly respected, “If you want to grow in your career, focus on being excellent at what you do, not the title of your job. And to be excellent at what you do, find something you love to do.” It was the best advice I’ve ever received, and probably the reason I have the opportunity to be here today.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I try to spend time with my family and kids outside of work, which takes up all the time I have. Between drama, choir concerts, dance performances, and hopefully some rounds of golf with my son, I keep pretty busy.
Since you are new to Pittsburgh, what’s your favorite thing so far about the city?
The people. Everyone we have talked to here has been incredibly welcoming and friendly and I feel like we will fit in very well. I know several people who grew up here, and everyone has had such good things to say about the city, the culture and the people. I’m excited for my family to become part of that.