Darbee has been skewered by critics for spending $46 million on a failed California state ballot initiative that would have made it difficult for communities to set up municipal power organizations. Consumer advocate groups have also been very vocal in claiming PG&E’s smart meters were inaccurate and were also a health hazard.
Until the election can be held, the board has named its Lead Director, Lee Cox, to serve as interim Chairman, CEO and President. Cox is the retired Vice Chairman of AirTouch Communications, and retired President and Chief Executive Officer of AirTouch Cellular. He has been a member of PG&E’s board since 1996.
Cox spoke highly of Darbee. “Peter concluded that a change in leadership would create the best opportunity for PG&E to move ahead after a challenging year. The board supported his decision. “Peter has demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership. He has guided PG&E to become one of the industry’s most innovative and environmentally committed utilities. His contributions have helped move PG&E and the industry forward. We are grateful to him.”
Cox also noted that, “The search for Peter’s replacement is already underway, and an announcement is expected soon.”
Darbee, who joined PG&E Corporation in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer, as appointed CEO in 2005 and assumed the additional role of Chairman of the Board in 2006. He says, “It’s been my extraordinary privilege to be a PG&E employee for more than a decade and to serve as CEO. No company has a more dedicated team of people working to deliver for its customers. I am deeply grateful for the support and inspiration our employees have given me over these many years.”
Headquartered in San Francisco, PG&E Corporation is a Fortune 200 energy-based holding company, and is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, California’s largest investor-owned utility. PG&E serves more than 15 million Californians throughout a 70,000 square-mile service area in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pgecorp.com.