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 TULSA, Okla., Sept. 20/ PRNewswire/ -- Joseph H. Williams announced today he will step down as chief executive officer of The Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB; PSE) on Jan. 1, 1994, and that the board of directors has elected Keith E. Bailey, the company's president, to succeed him.
 Williams, 60, has worked for the company since 1959 and has served as its chairman and chief executive officer since 1979, overseeing a major restructuring of the company to its present energy and telecommunications businesses.
 He will remain chairman of the board until the company's annual stockholder meeting in May 1994, when Bailey will succeed him in that position and hold the title of chairman, president and chief executive officer.
 "The company is in great shape and stockholder value is at an all- time high," Williams said. "Keith has served as president of two principal subsidiaries, as our chief financial officer and as president of the company. He's so uniquely qualified I don't expect there will be a transition that is discernible to outsiders."
 Bailey, 51, said the realignment of the company's energy businesses announced in the second quarter laid the groundwork for ultimately joining the president's and chief executive officer's jobs. He said no additional restructuring will be required to accommodate the retirement.
 "We're going to aggressively build upon a strategy that our people have been translating into exemplary earnings growth for a number of years," said Bailey, who has been president of the company since January 1992. "Our challenge will be to take this winning team and find ways to win by larger margins. I am convinced that our best years lie ahead of us."
 Williams, a Tulsa native, served in various positions in the company's former domestic pipeline construction and engineering company from 1959 until 1961. He served from 1961 to 1968 in Iran as a Williams superintendent, project manager and resident manager.
 In 1968 after returning to the United States, he was elected executive vice president of the company and, the following year, was elected to the company's board of directors. He was elected president and chief operating officer in 1971.
 During his tenure as chairman and chief executive officer, the company doubled in size with the acquisition in 1983 of Northwest Energy Co. Williams presided over the development of the company's present mix of assets, which included the successful divestiture of a number of diversified businesses during the 1980s as well as the creation of WilTel, the company's national telecommunications company.
 He is a 1956 graduate of Yale University, holds a 1977 honorary master's of arts degree from Yale University and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from Phillips University in 1987.
 His father, David R. Williams, was one of the founders of the company in 1908.
 Bailey joined Williams Pipe Line Company in 1973 and served in a variety of operating and management positions before being promoted to president of that subsidiary in 1979.
 He later was named as president of Williams Natural Gas Co., a position he held for two and one-half years before being promoted in 1986 to executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer of the corporation. A member of the board of directors since 1988, Bailey also played a key supporting role in the development and growth of WilTel.
 Bailey is a 1964 mechanical engineering graduate of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. He completed the Harvard University Program for Management Development in 1978. He received a professional degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1981.
 The Williams Co., listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMB, operates three interstate pipeline systems, major naturalg?as gathering and processing facilities and a national digital telecommunications company that specializes in serving other carriers and businesses.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Gipson (media), 918-588-2111, or Linda Lawson (investors), 918-588-2087, both of The Williams Cos./

CO: The Williams Companies Inc. ST: Oklahoma IN: OIL SU: PER

TM -- SF007 -- 3702 09/20/93 13:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993

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