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Report: Outgoing TVA chief may be tapped to lead PG&E

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Essential Energy Insights - January 2021


Report: Outgoing TVA chief may be tapped to lead PG&E

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Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO Bill Johnson speaks at the agency's Feb. 16, 2018, board meeting.
Source: TVA

The outgoing president and CEO of Tennessee Valley Authority may be hired to lead the struggling PG&E Corp. out of bankruptcy and legal turmoil.

Veteran utility executive Bill Johnson is the front-runner to become the next chief executive of the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Bloomberg News reported March 12 citing sources familiar with the matter. PG&E Corp. has not finalized a hiring decision for the role and the company is also close to picking its new slate of board directors.

PG&E Corp. has been in search of a new CEO after Geisha Williams resigned in January. Williams stepped down weeks ahead of the company filing for bankruptcy , facing approximately $30 billion in liabilities from the California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 and a heated battle over its obligations in power contracts with energy suppliers.

Johnson announced in November 2018 he would retire from TVA following a search for his successor. TVA's board of directors voted on Feb. 14 for former Ontario Power Generation Inc. CEO Jeffrey Lyash to take over the helm in April.

Since joining as TVA's second CEO in 2013, Johnson has led the federal power authority in decarbonizing its generation portfolio through retiring uneconomical coal plants and expanding into natural gas and renewables.

Prior to joining TVA, Johnson served as a president and CEO of Duke Energy Corp. for less than a day in 2012 after the North Carolina-based utility closed its $32 billion merger with Progress Energy Inc., where Johnson had been the chief executive, and was replaced by Jim Rogers, Duke's previous president and CEO.