Bill Johnson to retire as chief executive officer of PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Corporation announced that its chief executive officer and president, William D. “Bill” Johnson, has decided to retire. His retirement will become effective June 30, 2020, which is expected to be after the company’s Plan of Reorganization is confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court.

PG&E owns a 3,900-MW hydroelectric system, built on 16 river basins in the greater California area with 68 powerhouses. The company estimates that the system can provide power to nearly 4 million homes.

“I joined PG&E to help get the company out of bankruptcy and stabilize operations,” Johnson said. “By the end of June, I expect that both of these goals will have been met. 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. I want to thank the Board as well as all of the employees, who work so hard every day to address the challenges the company has faced–it has been a privilege to work with them.”

PG&E has named William “Bill” Smith as interim CEO. Smith, who joined the PG&E Board of Directors in 2019, will serve this role from Johnson’s departure through the appointment of a new CEO. May and June will be the transition period and Johnson will remain on the board until June 30.

Smith 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. He held several senior officer positions at AT&T.

In his last role, Smith oversaw data center and information technology operations, DIRECTV field operations, planning, engineering, construction, provisioning and maintenance for the company’s wireless and wireline networks. Throughout his career, he managed organizations with more than 100,000 employees and led network and customer care efforts globally.

“I have been deeply involved in the Board’s work helping to prepare PG&E for its successful emergence from bankruptcy,” said Bill Smith. “I am delighted that I can bring my knowledge and experience to bear going forward, working together with employees, our regulators, and elected officials to introduce the new PG&E and continue to fulfill the company’s commitments to its customers and communities.”

More recent PG&E headlines:

PG&E sells 12-MW Narrows No. 1 powerhouse to Yuba Water Agency

PG&E announces plans to transfer hydro-generating water system to TUD


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