CEO of California utility PG&E steps down as company faces potential wildfire liabilities

  • PG&E CEO Geisha Williams has stepped down as the company faces billions of dollars in potential liabilities related to deadly wildfires, the company said on Sunday.
  • The company's Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Simon has been named interim CEO.

California power company PG&E Chief Executive Officer Geisha Williams has stepped down, the company said on Sunday, as it faces billions of dollars in potential liabilities related to deadly wildfires.

PG&E Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Simon has been named interim CEO while the company conducts a search.

"While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the Board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face. We believe John is the right interim leader for the company," PG&E Chairman Richard Kelly said in a statement.

Geisha Williams, president and chief executive officer of PG&E Corp., speaks during the 2018 CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, March 8, 2018.
F. Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Geisha Williams, president and chief executive officer of PG&E Corp., speaks during the 2018 CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Reuters reported earlier on Sunday that PG&E was in discussions with investment banks about a multibillion-dollar financing package to help navigate bankruptcy proceedings, a sign that Chapter 11 filing preparations are intensifying in the face of potentially staggering liabilities, sources said.

PG&E said in November it could face "significant liability" in excess of its insurance coverage if its equipment was found to have caused last year's Camp fire in Northern California.