PG&E (PCG) has named Andrew M. Vesey to the position of CEO and president, effective Aug. 19. The news follows the troubled utility’s bankruptcy filing in January 2019 and its admission of liability for the California wildfires.

In his new role, Vesey will report to the company’s board of directors and have responsibility for the utility’s safety, electric, gas, generation, and customer care operations.

“Beginning day one, my primary focus areas are making sure that we’re safely operating our systems every day for our customers and communities, that we’re following all of the laws and rules that govern our work, and that we’re valuing the diversity of ideas and experiences of our employees to help us improve and innovate," Vesey said in a statement.

Vesey comes to PG&E with 35 years of utility experience, serving as CEO at “major energy companies.” He previously worked as managing director and CEO at AGL Energy Limited in Sydney. Prior to his appointment at AGL, Vesey served as COO at AES Corporation and also as a senior leader at Entergy Corporation and Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation.

Vesey’s background also extends to energy firms; FTI Consulting and Ernst & Young. He was also the managing director and CEO at CitiPower and started his career at Consolidated Edison.

Vesey has a mechanical engineering and economics degree from Union College. He received his master’s degree in applied science from New York University.

PG&E said the decision to appoint Vesey to the CEO and president position followed an “exhaustive nationwide” search.

Shares of PG&E stock were up 1.13 percent as of 3:17 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

PG&E Board
PG&E will replace half of it board of directors with new independent members by its 2019 annual meeting. PG&E workers remain at the scene of a three-alarm fire that started after a construction crew hit a gas line on Feb. 07, 2019 in San Francisco. Getty Images/Justin Sullivan