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PG&E Corp. CEO Bill Johnson Announces June Retirement Plans

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Bill Johnson, who has been at the helm of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation since last May during the utility's most turbulent financial time, will be stepping down as CEO on June 30th, the company announced Wednesday.

Johnson's retirement is expected to be after the company's reorganization plan is confirmed by the bankruptcy court.

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

The company named Bill Smith to act as an interim CEO of the PG&E Corporation once Johnson departs.

"As we look to PG&E's next chapter, this great company should be led by someone who has the time and career trajectory ahead of them to ensure that it fulfills its promise to reimagine itself as a new utility and deliver the safe and reliable service that its customers and communities expect and deserve," Johnson said.

Andrew Vesey, current CEO and President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the utility subsidiary, will continue in his role overseeing the company's electric, gas, generation and customer operations.

Smith joined the PG&E Board of Directors in 2019. Johnson and Smith will use May and June to transition.

He is the retired President of AT&T Technology Operations at AT&T Services, Inc., where he spent 37 years with the telecommunications service provider and its predecessor companies.

Smith held a number of senior officer positions at AT&T, including President of Network Operations.

"We were fortunate to have Bill Johnson's experience and steady presence for the past year as he shepherded the company through multiple challenges," said Nora Mead Brownell, chair of PG&E Corporation's Board of Directors. "We are equally fortunate now to have Bill Smith step up and provide strong, stable experienced leadership during this transitional period."

Among the milestones reached under Johnson's tutelage:

  • Received approval and support from the Governor's Office for the company's Plan of Reorganization
  • Reached $25.5 billion in wildfire settlements with victims
  • Reached a plea agreement with the Butte County District Attorney on charges related to the 2018 Camp Fire
  • Began pursuing a plan to regionalize the company's operations and its infrastructure to enhance the company's focus on local communities and customers
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