With the second bankruptcy of PG&E looming and shareholders and bondholders both staring at massive losses…
… while some 16 million California residents are about to pay sharply higher utility prices, not every is suffering: as Bloomberg reports, the utility’s former CEO Geisha Williams, who abruptly left the sinking ship just hours before notifying the company’s workers it would file for bankruptcy within weeks, is set to walk away with millions in cash.
During Williams’ brief two-year tenure , 57, the San Francisco-based utility accrued more than $30 billion in potential wildfire liabilities. And now Williams is set to make a lot of money even as she departs her former company in flames, so to speak.
On Monday, PG&E confirmed that Williams will receive severance, and will likely be between $2.36 million to $4.46 million, depending on how her departure is categorized. The former CEO also has $3.1 million of pension benefits that may be in flux if the firm enters bankruptcy court. In 2017, she was paid $8.6 million in 2017, mostly consisting of stock awards (it was not immediately clear how much stck the company bought back to artificially boost the management’s incentive-based comp). That said, ger unvested stock options and restricted shares will likely be wiped out if the firm enters Chapter 11.
Williams knew the risks that she faced because of wildfires liabilities. According to Bloomberg, at an energy conference last year in Houston she said – jokingly — that if she failed to change a state law on wildfires, “I won’t be here in two years.”
Well, she was right, but at least she will be sitting on a beach, collecting 2.00% (at least until Powell launches NIRP).