Pacific Gas and Electric's chief executive, California's largest energy utility, has resigned as the company may go bankrupt and possibly face prosecution following last year's fatal Camp Fire. The company said on Sunday.
Geisha Williams has been Chief Executive of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., or PG & E, since March 2017, when she became the first executive director of a Fortune 500 company in Latina. John Simon, the utility's executive vice president and general counsel, will serve as the interim chief executive while PG & E seeks a permanent leader.
PG & E is in crisis after the campfire last killed at least 85 people in Northern California year. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told a federal judge last month that the company could be prosecuted for murder.
Meanwhile, the company is considering considering filing for bankruptcy protection, as the stock price fell in November following a statement that it could be responsible for billions of dollars exceeding its coverage by fires in both the previous year and 201
Camp Fire, sparked in November, was the world's most expensive national disaster in 2018, causing more than $ 16 billion. German insurer Munich Re reported claims this month, three quarters of which were uninsured. The California Insurance Department said the campfire and two other forest fires destroyed 19,000 homes and businesses in the state last year.
PG & E is facing a lawsuit filed by more than three dozen plaintiffs alleging that the fire was triggered by faulty steel rings on a mast, causing dangerous live cables to crash. The company confirmed in a lawsuit in November that it had discovered a problem on a transmission line 15 minutes before the first campfire report.
The company also faces dozens of lawsuits from owners of homes and businesses that burned during the 2017 fire. In a signal that was considered as a bankruptcy petition, the company said this month that it would " structural options "and review its operations, finances, management, structure and governance.
PG & E said Sunday, Williams, 57, was also a member of the board of directors of the company as well as the board of the holding company PG & E Corp. resigned. Her biography was removed from the PG & E website on Sunday evening.