France-based Schneider Electric calls itself “the most local of global companies.” On Wednesday it made a move very local to North Texas—by appointing Dallas-based Joshua Dickinson as the company’s new SVP and chief financial officer for North America, responsible for all financial operations of the $8 billion region.
Schneider Electric is a billion-dollar global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries.
In his role, Dickinson “will be tasked with driving profitable growth, navigating the current business landscape while protecting the P&L, and supporting global peers on multiple global initiatives. He will also lead the finance transformation of the region with responsibilities that include budgeting and forecasting, talent development, internal controls and operations management,” the company said.
Addressing increased need for microgrids and EV charging stations
Dickinson takes his place in Schneider’s North American C-suite as transformation companies worldwide continue to face challenges.
“In 2023 and beyond, we expect the supply chain and chip shortage to continue to impact the energy and electrification transition,” Dickinson told Dallas Innovates. “In 2022, we saw rising gas and electricity costs, however, we hope to see a decrease as we head into the next year, especially as the demand for electric vehicles continues to increase in the U.S. We anticipate an uptick in the need for microgrids and EV charging stations.”
“We also expect to see a continuation of unpredictable weather patterns, resulting in a greater need for investment in grid infrastructure,” he added. “As we work to modernize the grid, we also expect 5G and cloud technologies to help expedite the clean energy transition by connecting devices and data more efficiently than ever before.”
Dickinson has been with Schneider since 2015
Dickinson has been with Schneider Electric since 2015, when he was named division controller and CFO for the company’s Industry U.S. division. Since then, he’s held various positions including serving as CFO of ASCO. Most recently, he served as the NAM Deputy CFO leading Schneider’s North America FP&A team while also serving as the finance business partner to the U.S. country president. He also oversaw the design and execution of Schneider’s North American finance transformation as part of the company’s Global One Finance journey, the company said.
“Fulfilling this mission requires firm financial acumen and effective business leadership that Joshua brings to the role,” Aamir Paul, president of Schneider Electric North America, said in a statement. “He’s an experienced and thoughtful leader and is the ideal person to guide the business as we continue to grow and help our customers realize their sustainable futures.”
Prior to joining Schneider Electric, Dickinson’s career spanned multiple industries and four Fortune 500 companies, as well as a private equity carve-out of Caterpillar Logistics Services into the standalone Neovia Logistics Services.
Dickinson graduated from Taylor University and earned his MBA with an emphasis on finance from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Schneider Electric has operated in Dallas for over 50 years
Schneider Electric and Dallas go way back—half a century, in fact.
“Schneider Electric has had a presence in Dallas for over 50 years, providing solutions and services to those living within the city and surrounding area,” Dickinson said.
The local operations including on-demand and emergency services for any unplanned outages; modernization and upgrade solutions of existing electrical distribution equipment; and “custom and turnkey solutions for unique product requirements or complex power.” The company also offers over 70 training courses taught by OSHA-authorized instructors, available regionally on-site or online.
The company’s Dallas office recently underwent a major renovation, Dickinson said, receiving the UL-verified healthy building mark for indoor air verification.
Sustainability and innovative solutions are key focuses
“Sustainability is at the heart of all we do, both within our company and through the solutions we offer our customers,” Dickinson said. “From digitizing and electrifying processes to providing critical infrastructure—the software and technology needed to transition from fossil fuels to electricity—we’re helping customers build a new energy future with innovative and cost-effective solutions.
To help achieve that, he said Schneider invests 5% of its total revenue into R&D, with a focus on new technologies.
“Over the past two years, we’ve invested more than $100 million to build and equip new plants that increase manufacturing capacity,” he added. Last November, the company announced it planned to build three new manufacturing plants in North America, evaluating sites in El Paso, New Mexico, and Mexico City.
To help realize his company’s goal of a “real energy transition,” Dickinson says that substituting fossil fuels with renewable sources won’t be enough.
“We must also develop technology that puts consumers in the driver’s seat, allowing them to generate ‘green’ energy themselves,” he said.
Dickinson believes he has the team to help do that and more. “We have stellar talent across Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. who I know will work diligently to serve the needs of the business and deliver results for our customers, shareholders, and employees,” he said in a statement.
SE Ventures provides capital to ‘bold entrepreneurs’
One way Schneider Electric is driving sustainability is through its corporate venture capital fund, SE Ventures. The fund invests in a variety of clean energy startups, as well as companies involved in electric vehicles, smart homes, and more.
“Currently, we have 34 investments and 200 partnerships established,” Dickinson said. “With these investments, the company is doubling down on its commitment to building a more sustainable and electrified future.”
Schneider formed a $10 million partnership with UNT HSC at Fort Worth
Dickinson’s company has made other moves in North Texas in the last year. In September 2021, it signed a $10 million contract with the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth to support current and future research programs.
The $10 million, 20-year Energy Savings Performance Contract is primarily focused on a new modernization project for cooling demand at the university’s health research labs. According to Schneider Electric, it will provide HSC $424,912 in annual avoided costs over the next two decades.
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