PG&E CEO Williams steps down as company faces potential wildfire liabilities

© Reuters. PG&E CEO Williams steps down as company faces potential wildfire liabilities

By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) – California power company PG&E Corp (N:) Chief Executive Officer Geisha Williams (NYSE:) 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 recognises 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.

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.

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