Embattled PG&E Corp. is shaking up its management team as it continues to find its footing following its emergence from bankruptcy. Among the changes is the impending appointment of John Simon as executive vice president, general counsel and chief ethics & compliance officer.
Simon will assume his new post at PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. effective Aug. 15, the gas and electric utility company disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday. His appointment coincides with Janet Loduca stepping down as senior vice president and general counsel, effective the same day. Loduca informed the company of her intended departure on July 24.
Among further changes that will take effect Aug. 1, Andrew Vesey will no longer serve as chief executive officer and president of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., with Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations, to serve as interim president.
The leadership shuffle comes amid a time of increased scrutiny for PG&E. The state of California has laid out a strict path forward following the company’s return from bankruptcy on July 1; if PG&E fails to meet safety obligations outlined by the California Public Utilities Commission, the state could take over the utility under the “The Golden State Energy Act,” which Gov. Gavin Newsom approved on June 30. Though such measures may seem drastic, PG&E’s recent history of being found at fault in several of the state’s most damaging wildfires necessitated a level of intervention.
As general counsel and chief ethics & compliance officer, Simon faces a tall task in keeping the company aligned with its requirements. Simon has been with PG&E since 2007 and has held several senior roles, including executive vice president, corporate services and human resources and senior vice president, human resources. From May 2019 to present, Simon has served as executive vice president of law, strategy & policy at the firm. He briefly held the title of interim CEO from January 2019 to May 2019.
Simon had previously served as PG&E’s general counsel from March 2017 to January 2019.
Earlier this month, PG&E announced organizational changes to its risk, audit, and safety leadership teams. That included the splitting of the vice president of internal audit and chief risk officer position into two different roles and the elevation of chief safety officer to a senior vice president role. Sumeet Singh, who previously led PG&E’s wildfire safety efforts through 2019, takes over as chief risk officer, effective Aug. 1.