PG&E CEO Johnson to Retire June 30 - Led Bankruptcy Revamp

PG&E CEO William Johnson is retiring June 30. By then, the company expects its reorganization to be approved by a bankruptcy court.
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PG&E Corp.  (PCG) - Get Report said Wednesday that President and Chief Executive William Johnson is retiring June 30, which is expected to be after the utility's reorganization is confirmed by a bankruptcy court.

Johnson is also resigning from the board. 

At last check PG&E shares were up 0.6% at $10.91.

"I joined PG&E to help get the company out of bankruptcy and stabilize operations," Johnson said in a statement. "By the end of June, I expect that both of these goals will have been met." 

Johnson’s resignation "does not involve any disagreement on any matter relating to [PG&E’s] or the utility’s operations, policies or practices," the San Francisco company said in a regulatory filing.

PG&E named William Smith interim CEO. Smith, who joined PG&E's board in 2019, will take the post from the time Johnson departs through the appointment of a new CEO.

Smith is retired president of AT&T Technology Operations at AT&T Services.  (T) - Get Report

PG&E and its utility unit filed under the bankruptcy laws in January 2019, citing more than $30 billion in potential liabilities from major wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that were linked to its equipment.

PG&E must exit bankruptcy by June 30 to take part in a state-backed wildfire fund that would help reduce the threat to utilities from wildfires.

Earlier this week, the California Public Utilities Commission asked PG&E for governance and oversight changes to its reorganization plan. The agency also proposed penalties for the utility's role in causing the devastating 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, Reuters reported.

Under the proposed $1.94 billion penalty, an earlier $200 million fine would be "permanently suspended" to ensure that the payment did not reduce PG&E's funds to meet wildfire victims' claims.

On, March 23 PG&E agreed to plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of unlawfully causing a fire.

In January, the utility company said it reached agreement with debtholders who had been pursuing an alternative reorganization plan for the utility. 

The company said it planned to report first-quarter 2020 earnings on May 1.