Named by California Diversity Magazine as one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in California, Denita Willoughby is the President and CEO of The Willoughby Group. Willoughby is an experienced and inspiring business leader with 25 years of senior management and executive experience at Fortune 200 companies. She was responsible for transforming billion-dollar supply chain operations, including supplier diversity, fleet, facilities, and real estate departments. She also led the development of business strategy and operational excellence for commercial and national business sales organizations and call centers. She successfully oversaw the introduction of communication and technology products, including AT&T U-Verse programming, and start-up digital wallet solutions. She possesses extensive experience in government and community affairs and has helped organizations design and implement Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Action Plans.
She is currently the CEO of The Willoughby Group, a consulting firm that helps companies grow their business by implementing clean energy solutions, with a focus on green hydrogen. Willoughby is also a motivational speaker that engages audiences on topics that include leadership, career navigation, work/life balance, and living their dream.
Prior to the Willoughby Group, she held roles as vice president of Supply Chain & Support Services for Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric, both are Sempra Energy’s California utility companies. She was responsible for a $2 billion supply chain, fleet and facilities’ operations and managed SoCalGas’ $6 billion real estate portfolio. Willoughby has strong crisis management experience and was appointed to serve as Logistics Chief during the Covid-19 pandemic. Willoughby also led the relocation team during the Aliso Canyon gas leak, successfully relocating 8,200 households. Willoughby previously served as regional vice president of external affairs for SoCalGas, where she managed the Company’s community relations, public affairs, and media & employee communications efforts.
Willoughby spent over 15 years in leadership roles at AT&T/SBC/Pacific Bell. Willoughby led external affairs, and sales organizations with p&l responsibility. Willoughby began her career at IBM as a sales representative and earned recognition in the 100% Club.
Willoughby has served on corporate and non-profit boards. She was the interim CEO and board member for WikiLoan, a publicly traded, micro-loan and mobile payment company. The Company was purchased by Source Financial in 2013. She also served as the Chairman of the Board for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and UniteLA, an education non- profit. Her other board service includes Green Dot Public Schools, The Los Angeles Urban League, United Way of Greater LA and California Institute of the Arts. She also served as an advisory board member for Vicente Capital, a private equity firm focused on growth-stage businesses. Currently she serves as the founding board member for Vision to Learn and board member for UniteLA. She has led and served on the executive, nominating, and various versions of environmental, social and governance (ESG) committees.
Willoughby earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she also received the Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
Willoughby is married with two adult sons and lives in Los Angeles, CA.