September 21, 2022
NEMA continues its Executive Q&A Series with a profile of Rich Stinson, Southwire President and CEO. In his NEMA interview, Stinson tells us why “favorable external forces” make him optimistic about the electroindustry and offers advice
to those starting their careers.
How did you get to where you are today?
Before I came to Southwire, I spent more than three decades in the electrical industry. During that time, I held several leadership roles in general management, commercial, engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain in various geographies.
Those opportunities are what prepared me to become Southwire’s President and CEO.
What will be the biggest change to the industry in the next three years?
From my vantage point, I’ve never experienced such favorable external forces in my 40-year career in the electrical industry. It’s a great time to be in the electrical industry, and it’s an even better time to be at Southwire.
As CEOs, I believe that we have the momentum. We need to be ready to accelerate and take advantage of this unique time and its opportunities.
- Renewables and Electrification
From 1962 to 2005, the U.S. population increased by 60 percent, and its carbon footprint doubled. Today, the government has set a goal to reduce our carbon footprint by 50 percent. I believe we
will transition from an oil and gas economy to an electric one to combat these efforts. Moving to a low-carbon economy will become a reality. We must change how we produce energy to support this transition, with electrification and
the need for renewables as our primary driving force. Renewables in U.S. electricity generation is expected to double by 2050 by upgrading and implementing more greenfield wind, solar projects, and utility grids.
- Federal Infrastructure Bill
I believe that infrastructure will also expand to support many initiatives in emerging vertical markets. The Federal government’s infrastructure bill is a catalyst and accelerator toward electrification.
The bill represents an incremental $4 billion to Southwire’s current perimeter over the next seven years and will further accelerate initiatives that address needed infrastructure and sources.
- Grid Transformation
The grid has to be updated, and money must be spent. Today’s grid was not built to integrate renewable sources, nor is it capable of supporting future electrification requirements.
- Beyond Electrification
Other related accelerators in play will create additional opportunities for Southwire. There’s a need for more data centers and energy independence.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry today?
I would encourage them to listen to others and learn how the industry operates, gain exposure to multiple business areas, pursue new opportunities, and always strive to do more. Never be complacent.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Outside of work, I enjoy golfing, traveling, going to the beach, and spending time with my family and dogs.