Pacific Gas & Electric announced Sunday evening that CEO Geisha Williams will step down amid the fallout from a spate of deadly wildfires that may have brought the California utility to the brink of bankruptcy.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement to KTVU the company should continue to "honor promises made to energy suppliers and to our community". Its debt has been downgraded to junk and state regulators have called for a management shakeup.
Board Chairman Richard Kelly said "a Chapter 11 reorganization for both the utility and PG&E Corporation represents the only viable option to address the company's responsibilities to its stakeholders".More news: Thunder’s Russell Westbrook breaks Marco Belinelli’s ankle with vicious crossover
The company said the action will allow it to be able to gain access to capital and resources it needs to continue providing service to customers as it restructures.
The company was acting under a new state law requiring it to tell employees at least 15 days before a change of control in the company - including a bankruptcy filing.
The departure of Williams - one of the world's most powerful women in business - thins the ranks of the roughly two dozen women running S&P 500 companies.
The announcement Monday follows the resignation of the power company's chief executive a day earlier. She said the wildfires were a symptom of climate change with hotter and drier conditions sparking more frequent and intense blazes.More news: Cameron church celebrates safe return of Jayme Closs
PG&E could be on the hook for tens of billions of dollars for its potential role in California's devastating Camp Fire previous year - the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
"PG&E faces extensive litigation and significant potential liabilities resulting from these wildfires". Three months later, however, the utility's equipment again was being looked at as a possible source of the Camp Fire, which killed 86 people and destroyed the town of Paradise.
"Enough is enough", Dodd said.More news: Pompeo applauds Qatar's assistance while on Mideast tour