IBERDROLA'S CHAIRMAN AND CEO
Ignacio S. Galán
© Rosa Muñoz.Born in Salamanca on 30 September 1950, married and with four children, Ignacio Galán graduated as an Industrial Engineer from the Engineering School (ICAI) of Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid). He also graduated in Business Administration and Foreign Trade from ICADE at Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid) and in General Business Administration and Foreign Trade from the School of Industrial Organisation (EOI) in Madrid. He speaks English, French, Italian and Portuguese.
He holds the post of chairman and chief executive officer of Iberdrola and chairman of the subholdings of the Iberdrola group in the United Kingdom (ScottishPower), in the United States (Avangrid*, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange) and in Brazil (Neoenergia**).
He has run leading companies in state-of-the art industrial and technological sectors, where he profoundly changed their profile and applied his far-sighted approach and his ability to anticipate the new needs of the different sectors. In 2019 Harvard Business Review selected him among the top five CEOs in the world.
The commitment to sound and sustainably projects; the promotion of good corporate governance, efficiency and financial soundness; prudence in balance sheet management; growth with profitability; and the commitment to strong ethical and professional values have characterized Ignacio Galán's management style throughout his long career. To achieve the strategic objectives, he has always given priority to the setting up of teams that are culturally integrated and focused on a common project.
A good communicator, open and friendly, Galán is convinced of the key importance of motivation for achieving an enriching contribution of the experiences, cultures and diverse knowledge of all human teams, which he regards as the main asset of any company. An untiring worker with firm convictions, once the goals to be achieved have been set, he is as demanding with himself as he is with his teams when it comes to accomplishing them.
HISTORY, MANAGEMENT AND RECOGNITIONS
Ignacio Galán began his professional career in 1972 at Sociedad Española del Acumulador Tudor, where he held different executive and management positions, embarking on the company's international expansion.
In the early 90s, he managed Industria de Turbopropulsores (ITP) from its inception, driving the design, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft engines and gas turbines. At ITP, Galán brought on board workers and technicians from the restructuring of the naval sector of the Bilbao Estuary, who had a chance to start a new professional career in the aeronautics industry.
From 1993 to 1995 he was chairman of Eurojet, a European consortium engaged in the development and manufacture of the Eurojet 200 engine for the Eurofighter. Ignacio Galán was subsequently chief executive officer of Airtel Móvil (now Vodafone), where he successfully tackled the great challenge of the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in Spain.
The arrival of Ignacio Galán at Iberdrola in 2001 as executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer and his subsequent appointment as executive chairman in 2006 triggered the start of one of the most successful transformation processes undertaken by a large company in these years. His commitment to international expansion, renewable energy and sustainability has turned Iberdrola into the number three largest electricity company in the world by market capitalisation and number one in Europe, after years of uninterrupted growth.
Moreover, his firm commitment to the protection of the environment and social responsibility has made the company a world leader in renewable energy listed on the main sustainability indices. Iberdrola is the only European utility listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since its creation and has become one of the world's best utilities, according to the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index and FTSE4Good. The company has also been recognised for its best practices in corporate governance by the publications World Finance and Ethical Boardroom, and as one of the most ethical companies in the world by the Ethisphere Institute.
At the helm of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán has always developed a very active policy in favour of equal opportunities, which has resulted in a large number of women joining the company and in their promotion to positions of responsibility. Iberdrola is one of the companies listed on the Ibex-35 index with the largest number of women on its Board of Directors.
He has also driven work-life balance, promoting measures that are at the forefront of the sector, such as the implementation of compressed working hours.
Ignacio Galán has also been firmly committed to young people, to their education and to their professional development, which has resulted in the approval of measures and policies to contribute to their specialisation and labour market insertion. Hundreds of young people obtain hands-on experience at the Iberdrola group every year and the company has implemented a scholarship programme for postgraduate and PhD students at international universities in which hundreds of students have already taken part.
Ignacio Galán has been conferred the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the universities of Salamanca, Edinburgh and Strathclyde (Glasgow) and is an honorary member of the Alumni Association of the University of Salamanca for his excellent career as a businessman, engineer and entrepreneur. In addition, he is a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, Chairman of the Social Council of the University of Salamanca and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He is currently a trustee of the Princess of Asturias Foundation, the COTEC Foundation, the Carolina Foundation, the Comillas-ICAI University Foundation, the Conocimiento y Desarrollo Foundation, the Aspen Institute Spain Foundation, the Elcano Royal Institute and the Royal Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum.
Likewise, he is a member of the group of top utility executives of the World Economic Forum (Davos), which he has chaired in the past (2014-2016) and of the Steering Committee of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) and of JP Morgan International Council. He is also a member of GlobalScot, an international Scottish government network of the business leaders who are most keenly committed to the economic development of Scotland. In Spain, he belongs to the Basque Círculo de Empresarios, the Círculo de Empresarios (Madrid), the Círculo de Economía and the Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección (APD).
Throughout his career he has received numerous recognitions, including the following:
- Business Career Award by elEconomista (2020).
- Recognition from the Confederation of Businessmen of La Coruña (CEC) for its work in favor of the development of the offshore wind energy industry and its auxiliaries in the Ferrol region.
- One of the 100 CEOs included in the Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index 2021.
- Alfonso de Salas Award for Economic Personality of the Year, awarded by the newspaper elEconomista.
- Management Leadership Award by the Spanish Association for Quality (AEC).
- Honour Award at the 7th Castilla y León Económica magazine Best Manager of Castilla y León Awards.
- 2020 Forinvest Award for his professional career.
- National Innovation and Design Award Winner 2019 in the Innovative Career category by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
- Premio León, from El Español, to the Best Business Management 2019.
- Selected between the best five CEO of the world on the Harvard Business Review Ranking.
- Recognized as one of the 10's more influential CEO in the fight against climate change, acording to Bloomberg.
- Honourable Mention of his professional career by the Official Industrial Engineers Association of Madrid.
- Designated as Español Universal in 2019 by the Fundación Independiente.
- Honorary Member of the Spanish Institute of Engineering since 2018.
- 2018 Silver Cross of Merit of the Guardia Civil.
- 2017 Vocento Business Leadership Award.
- Best Chief Executive Officer (CEO) within the utilities category (for the eleventh time) according to the prestigious Institutional Investor Research Group 2017.
- Medal of Honour of the Royal National Academy of Medicine (RANM) in 2016.
- Responsible Capitalism Award in 2014, by the First Group.
- Gold Medal of the City of Salamanca in 2013.
- Best CEO of European utilities and Spanish listed companies in investors relations, according to the Thomson Extel Survey 2011.
- Lagun Onari (Friend of the Basque People), awarded by the Basque Regional Government in 2011.
- Gold Medal of the Province of Salamanca in 2009.
- Bilbao Consul in 2009.
- Business Leader of the Year 2008 Award, by the Spain-United States Chamber of Commerce.
- International Economy Award 2008, by the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation.
- Best CEO of the Year in 2006, at the Platts Global Energy Awards.
- Award for Best CEO in Investor Relations, by IR Magazine on three successive occasions (2003-2005).
Moreover, Queen Elizabeth II recognised Ignacio Galán in 2014 with the honorary decoration of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his work to promote the British energy sector and trade and investment relations between the United Kingdom and Spain.
- SEPTEMBER 2021 | 'ENERGY ACTION DAYS'
"COP26 will be a crucial moment to show our commitment"
- SEPTEMBER 2021 | TRANSATLANTIC CONFERENCE
Galán highlights the good position of the United States to attract investment to promote decarbonisation
* Avangrid, Inc. is 81,50% owned by Iberdrola, S.A.
** Neoenergia, S.A. is 50% + 1 share indirectly owned by Iberdrola, S.A.