PG&E (PCG) Appoints New CEO; Massive Task waits ahead for Patti Poppe

The California utility giant just announced its new CEO as the company aims to come out of problematic circumstances.

On Wednesday, PG&E Corp. (PCG) announced a new CEO placing its fate in the hands of a compatible and reliable person. The company after facing heavy critics, criminal charges, and bankruptcy, is set to go for a new drive with Patricia K. Poppe.

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After the announcement of a new CEO, PCG stock showed signs of optimism and seemed that investors took this as a positive. The stock soared more than 8% trading in a range of $12.57 – $12.74. PCG traded at the day’s high of $12.85 before closing in at $12.65.

Poppe, the 52 years old veteran, is currently, serving as the President and CEO of CMS Energy Corp. She will be joining PG&E to become the fourth executive of the company in the last two years. She is anticipated to taking over her job on January 4, 2021, becoming the second woman to run the California utility firm.

PG&E has been facing some hard times for some years now, and the new CEO is expected to bring good fortune for the company. Poppe has a great track record of cutting costs, reducing accidents, and building bridges.

The circumstances that Poppeis going todeal with are not suitable at all. The company is still under enormous pressure fighting through different issues. A serious problem of deadly wildfires is on her shoulders. That’s the first big problem she will be facing. Moreover, the Northern California agencies have sued PG&E over the wildfire tragedy of 2019.

The wildfire problem has taken hype for some time now, and PG&E has been driven towards bankruptcy. The company had to plead guilty to 85 felony counts. Despite the fact, the company made out of bankruptcy this summer, but the situation is not favorable at all. Above all that, the pandemic impact hasworsened the conditions.

The company is under federal court-supervised probation due to the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, the case raised in a prior court proceeding. Also, the California-based company is accused of a major 2019 wildfire and is under legal fallout.

Consequently, PG&Efrequently deployed a controversial way of preventing fire via switching off power during hefty weather and high winds. So, Poppe has a lot of workloads and she will have to improve the conditions both inside and outside the firm.

The work needs to be done for improving PG&E’s shut-off program, and enhance its electrical system and navigate the complex legal systems and get rid of the regulatory hurdles. Straight away she will have to cut costs by almost $1 billion in order to save the company from Governor Gavin Newsom threats.

The chairman of BoDs at PG&E, Robert Flexon says that it’s a very tough situation in which Poppe is stepping in, but he fully believes that she can do it. Flexon said:

“What we have to see is if can we change the course of this company. I believe Patti can.”

In a statement, Poppe herself admitted that the responsibility is quite big and hefty but she is looking forward to work for a company that serves 16 million Californians.

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