SAN FRANCISCO April 22, 2020 – PG&E Corporation announced today that its chief executive officer and president, William D. “Bill” Johnson, has decided to retire from the company. His retirement will become effective on June 30, 2020, which is expected to be after the company’s Plan of Reorganization is confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court.
“I joined PG&E to help get the company out of bankruptcy and stabilize operations. By the end of June, I expect that both of these goals will have been met,” said Johnson. “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 in this role from the time of Johnson’s departure through the appointment of a new CEO. Johnson and Smith will use May and June to transition. Johnson will remain on the board until June 30.
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 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 a number of senior officer positions at AT&T, including President of Network Operations. 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 across a broad global footprint.
“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. With his knowledge of the company and his long-time operational and transformation experience in large and heavily regulated, consumer-facing organizations, he is well-positioned to help the company begin its next chapter.”
“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.”