PG&E announced Thursday that CEO and President Peter A. Darbee will retire at the end of April, seven months after one of the utility's natural gas pipelines exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people.
Long-time board member Lee Cox will take over his duties until the board can appoint someone else. Cox is the retired president and CEO of AirTouch Cellular. He has been a member of PG&E’s board since 1996.
Darbee will receive $35 million in stock and pension. He will not receive any additional severance money because he is retiring, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission statement. Also according to the statement Cox could make $150,000 a month until an interim CEO is appointed.
"We have got to regain the confidence that in some case has been lost with customers, regulators, and others," said PG&E spokesman Brian Hertzog. "New leadership has the best opportunity to address the challenge."
There have been increasing calls for resignations at the top levels of PG&E by the National Transportation Board after an investigation revealed sloppy record keeping and patchy inspection practices.