Embattled PG&E Corp. and its utility Pacific Gas and Electric, on Wednesday announced the appointment of William “Bill” Johnson as president and CEO, Kallanish Energy reports.
In addition, the company, currently operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, named 10 new board members, to be appointed at the company’s next board meeting.
The San Francisco-based utility giant said “the significant changes in leadership reflect PG&E’s focus on strengthening its safety culture and operational effectiveness and successfully navigating the Company’s Chapter 11 process.”
Johnson is concluding a more than six-year tenure as president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, responsible for leading the U.S.’s largest publicly owned utility.
During Johnson’s time at TVA, the organization achieved the best safety record in its 85-year history and has been a perennial top decile safety performer in the utility industry.
Johnson’s strength is making safety a major goal is needed by PG&E, as it remains in the center of a maelstrom of wildfires in the last two years, which the company is some cases is being held responsible for.
Johnson succeeds Geisha Williams, who resigned as PG&E’s chief executive just days before the Jan. 29 bankruptcy filing.
The new board members include Richard Barrera, Jeffrey Bleich, Nora Mead Brownell, Cheryl Campbell, Michael Leffell, Kenneth Liang, Dominique Mielle, Meridee Moore, Kristine Schmidt and Alejandro Wolff.
They will join three retained board members, including Fred Fowler, Richard Kelly and Eric Mullins. All other board members will exit the PG&E board.
All PG&E directors, including the newly appointed directors, will stand for election at the annual meeting, scheduled for May 21. In addition, Johnson will stand for election as the 14th director at the meeting.
Hedge funds Abrams Capital Management, Knighthead Capital Management and Redwood Capital Management, which combined own almost 10% of PG&E’s outstanding shares, engaged in discussions with PG&E’s board and management as part of PG&E’s CEO selection and “board refreshment process and have expressed support for the new CEO and the new board.”
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