Jose Ignacio Sanchez Galan

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José Ignacio Sánchez Galán

José Ignacio Sánchez Galán1 (born 1950) is a Spanish businessman. He is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Iberdrola, a multinational group present in dozens of countries worldwide and including the likes of ScottishPower in the United Kingdom, Avangrid in USA, Elektro Holding in Brazil and Iberdrola Mexico.

Early life[edit]

José Ignacio Galán was born in 1950 in Salamanca, Spain. As a young man, he moved to Madrid to study industrial engineering at the ICAI School of Engineering attached to Comillas Pontifical University.

He also graduated in Business Administration from the ICADE Business School and in Business Administration and Foreign Trade from the EOI Business School. He speaks English, French, Italian and Portuguese and is married with four children.


His career got under way in 1972 at Sociedad Española del Acumulador Tudor, where he held various executive posts and oversaw the company's international expansion.

In the early 1990s, he took the helm at Industria de Turbopropulsores (ITP)2 from its inception. Between 1993 and 1995 he was chairman of Eurojet, a European consortium that developed and manufactured the Eurojet 200 powerplants fitted to the Eurofighter. He then went on to serve as chief executive at Airtel Móvil.

In 2001, he was appointed the executive vice-chairman and chief executive of Iberdrola and in 2006 he earned the position of executive chairman at the company.3

He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and has also given lectures at the Industrial Engineering College attached to Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid. In 2012, he was appointed chairman of the Social Council of the University of Salamanca.4

José Ignacio Galán chairs the Electricity Cluster at the World Economic Forum (Davos), and is on the Steering Committee of the European Round Table of Industrialists and of the group that brings together Europe’s leading electric utilities.

Awards and accolades[edit]

He has been bestowed numerous awards and accolades over the course of his career. In 2011, he received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh and from the University of Salamanca, 5 on account of his “proven ability to bring about change and innovate and his future vision”6, while in 2013 he was handed an honorary degree in science from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

For three years running, he was named “Best CEO in Investor Relations” by IR Magazine (2003-2005). The award is based on opinions gathered from stock market analysts and investment fund managers. He was also named “Best CEO of the Year” in 2006 at the Platts Global Energy Awards.7

In 2008, he was crowned “Business Leader of the Year” by the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce8 and that same year he also received the “International Economy Award” from the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation.9 José Ignacio Galán has also been named Council of Bilbao by the Bilbao Chamber of Commerce and obtained the 2009 Gold Medal from the Province of Salamanca.10

In 2011, he was handed the Lagun Onari award by the Basque Government, which is given to prominent non-Basque individuals in recognition of their efforts to promote Basque history and culture and improve the region’s economy.11

In 2014, he received the FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism and that very same year Queen Elizabeth II of England bestowed on him the honorary title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire.12

José Ignacio Galán chairs the Electricity Cluster at the World Economic Forum (Davos) which he previously co-chaired with Stephen Bolze (former CEO, GE Power), and sits on the Board and Steering Committee of the European Round Table of Industrialists and of the group that brings together Europe’s leading electric utilities.

In 2016, he received his tenth Best Chief Executive Officer award in European electric utilities, which is issued by the Institutional Investor Research Group.13 14

Remuneration at Iberdrola[edit]

As Iberdrola's chairman and chief executive officer, José Ignacio Galán obtained total remuneration of 6.17 million euros in 2015, plus shares valued at 3.2 million euros. At Iberdrola's 2016 General Meeting of Shareholders (held on 8 April), the advisory vote on the Annual Report on the Remuneration of Board Members revealed support of 97.84% from shareholders present at the meeting, thus making Mr. Galán Spain’s fifth best paid executive in 2015.15


1 CORPORATE, IBERDROLA. “Presidente - Iberdrola”. Viewed on 2016-11-05.

2 ATTEST. “ITP. Manufacturer of turbines and aeronautical engines”. Viewed on 2016-11-05.

3 “Iberdrola apuesta por las renovables”. El Periódico Extremadura. Viewed on 2016-11-05.

4 Presidente del Consejo Social de la USAL, EuropaPress, 31/05/2012.

5 Doctor Honoris Causa por la USAL, Universidad de Salamanca, 2/12/2011.

6 Ignacio Galán, doctor honoris causa por su visión de futuro y asunción de riesgos, El Mundo, 2/12/2011.

7 Ignacio Galán e Iberdrola reciben en Nueva York los galardones al Máximo Ejecutivo del Año y a la Compañía Energética del Año de Platts, El Economista, 1/12/2006.

8 Ignacio Galán, Líder Empresarial del Año, El Mundo, 12/06/2008.

9 Premio Internacional Fundación Cristóbal Gabarrón de Economía, Energía Diario, 10/10/2008.

10 El presidente de Iberdrola recibe en Salamanca la medalla de oro de la provincia, RTVCYL, 21/09/2009.

11 El Gobierno vasco concede la distinción Lagun Onari a Ignacio Galán, B.O.P.V., 18/10/2011.

12 “Galán, condecorado como Comendador Honorario de la Orden del Imperio Británico”, 2014-05-22. Viewed on 2016-11-07.

13 Mejor Primer Ejecutivo de las eléctricas europeas 2015, Institutional Investor, 2015.

14 Ignacio Galán mejor CEO de las utilities europeas,, 3/11/2016.

15 EL PAÍS newspaper, 30 March 2012.