Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.'s top executive is stepping down following a "challenging year" that included a natural gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco suburb that killed eight and left 38 homes destroyed.
The San Francisco-based energy company said today that chairman, chief executive and President Peter Darbee will retire on April 30.
The September blast on a 44-year-old transmission line in San Bruno ignited a fire that raged for an hour and 40 minutes and left dozens injured. The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to determine a cause.
PG&E said in a statement that Lee Cox will serve as interim chairman, CEO and president. Cox is a former president and CEO of AirTouch Cellular and has been a member of PG&E's board since 1996.