Pacific Gas and Electric Corp., California’s largest utility, will replace half of its 10-member board of directors by May, the company announced Monday.
“The Board currently expects that no more than five of the Company’s current directors will stand for election at the 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders,” the company said in a statement. The board already “has identified strong candidates who would add fresh perspectives and augment the Board’s expertise in safety, operations and other critical areas.”
PG&E signaled a leadership shakeup last month when NPR first reported that the utility company, beset by potential liability claims associated with California’s devastating wildfires, was looking for ways to avoid bankruptcy. The company filed for bankruptcy in late January.
In the wake of the wildfires, and with the company still under probation for its role in the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., PG&E acknowledged that its public image is wanting.
“We fully understand that PG&E must re-earn trust and credibility with its customers, regulators, the communities it serves and all of its stakeholders, and we are continuing to make changes that reinforce PG&E’s commitment to safety and improvement,” the statement read.
A company critic, state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, whose wine-country district suffered through a massive wildfire in 2017, said the board changes were long overdue.
“While the change in the board is welcome, it’s still taken way too long,” said Dodd in a statement. “And it doesn’t make sense to wait another day on these changes with another fire season on the horizon. Time will tell if this new leadership instills the badly needed culture of safety at PG&E.”
State investigators found that the Napa fire was not caused by PG&E, but by a private electrical system.