President and CEO
Susan N. Story is President and Chief Executive Officer of American Water Works, Inc. She has served as CEO since May 2014. Prior to her move to American Water in 2013, she spent 31 years at Southern Company. Among other roles there, she served as as Chief Executive Officer, Southern Company Services, Inc. Story began her utility career as a nuclear power plant engineer.
Water might be called the "hidden utility." It can be taken for granted. If the lights don't come on when we flip the switch or the gas stove doesn't light when we want to cook dinner, it's an immediate problem for our household. Our water supply, it seems, is different. It's always there, for most of us in the United States in the twenty-first century. It's not a problem unless there is a system failure of some kind.
But as American Water CEO Susan Story points out, water is more essential to life than anything else. We can get by without microwaves and even without hot water. But life itself depends on clean water that we can drink safely. That puts water in a special category.
PUF Editor-in-Chief Steve Mitnick spent a day with Susan Story and members of the American Water team, learning how strongly they feel about their mission.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What's it like to be the head of American Water?
Susan Story: It's great! It was a very difficult decision to leave the electric utility industry, which I have always loved. But water is an even more critical need in people's lives, and essential for their health and well-being.