PG&E Corp. will file for bankruptcy in California after the cost of wildfires.
After the cost of wildfires left it with potential liabilities of $30 billion or more, PG&E Corp. said Monday it will file for bankruptcy in California.
The San Francisco-based company said it will file under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code by Jan. 29 after giving the required 15-day notice to its employees, according to a filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On Sunday, the company started searching for a new leader after Geisha Williams, 57, quit as CEO.
General counsel John Simon will take the helm in the meantime. The departure of Williams, who took over as CEO in March 2017, follows a catastrophic three months for PG&E.
The company has seen more than three-quarters of its market value wiped out since November’s Camp fire — the deadliest wildfire in California’s history.
Its debt has been downgraded to junk status and state regulators have called for a management shakeup.
The company’s deepening financial crisis has forced California regulators and policymakers to consider a bailout package. The utility said bankruptcy was the best way forward for employees and those who are claiming losses from wildfires that may have been caused by its power lines.
“While PG&E announced its intent to file bankruptcy today, the company should continue to honor promises made to energy suppliers and to our community,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Monday.
Meanwhile, former CEO Williams is likely to walk away with millions of dollars in cash. Her departure was announced Sunday, hours before the company said it was notifying workers it could file for bankruptcy within weeks.