PG&E CEO resigns as company faces billions in liability

“The CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric resigned Sunday and employees could learn this week if the utility will declare insolvency while facing billions of dollars in liability over its role in recent California wildfires,” as the Sacramento Bee is reporting.

“PG&E released a statement Sunday thanking Geisha Williams for her service. The board of directors chose John Simon as interim CEO.

“’While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face,’ the company said. ‘We believe John is the right interim leader for the company while we work to identify a new CEO.’

“PG&E is in discussions with lenders about a financing package worth up to $5 billion. It would allow the company to continue operating during Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

“Under a new state law, PG&E must tell its employees at least 15 days before a change of control in the company — including a bankruptcy filing, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. That notice may come as soon as Monday.

“State fire investigators blamed the utility’s power lines for causing a number of California wildfires in October 2017.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

5 thoughts on “PG&E CEO resigns as company faces billions in liability”

  1. If I was a lender PG&E would be the last company I would float a loan to. Their liabilities are growing by leaps and bounds every year. I doubt even a Russian oligarch looking to launder money would consider them as a potential investment.
    My guess is they will end up as a public utility and the customers are going to end up paying utility rates that are going to be as stinging to the wallet as health insurance rates are now, and around here, homeowner policies will also be way up there. For those of us living on modest means and the other half will soon be fixed income, California is an economic death spiral.

  2. How easy would it be to create public owned utilities like SMUD to serve various localities and buy PG&E out at what could be bargain basement prices? Perhaps taking the profit motive and deferred maintenance out of the equation would increase safety. The City of Davis had a ballot initiative a few years ago to do that and it lost…mostly due to large sums of PG&E money spent to defeat it.

  3. Before the last Golden Parachute hits the ground, the questions about the future of “power” distribution are just getting off the ground. The PUC had already started to talk about breaking up the company into different divisions, SDG&E (SEMPRA) are making noise about a buyout, and there are other big players wanting a piece of the pie.
    My dream would be that we get a real public utility out of all this. This is an opportunity. In the near future we will see the PUC make some momentous decisions, lets hope they remember their first name-

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