Wade Smith/PG&E Corp.
Wade Smith
Wade Smith
Wade Smith
Wade Smith
Wade Smith

PG&E Promoting Trio as Electric Operations Leader Prepares Exit

July 5, 2022
A senior vice president who joined the utility from AEP just last year is leaving for a peer.
The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive who joined the utility in May of last year to oversee its transmission and distribution operations is leaving the company for a peer. The move will result in three fellow PG&E leaders moving up the corporate ladder.

Wade Smith came to Oakland-based PG&E in the spring of 2021 from fellow industry giant American Electric Power, where he worked for about 30 years. As senior vice president of operations, Smith (pictured) led the utility’s operations and maintenance work as well as its emergency preparedness plans. In a statement, PG&E said Smith’s next destination is “an expanded role at another West Coast utility” but didn’t provide further details. Smith’s future employer has not yet issued its own announcement.

Smith’s pending departure means, effective next Monday, his EVP role will be taken over by Janisse Quiñones, who has been with PG&E since April 2021 and is its senior VP of gas engineering. Quiñones has more than two decades of industry experience, including at San Diego Gas & Electric and National Grid.

Quiñones’ gas engineering position will in turn be filled by Christine Cowsert Chapman, who is today PG&E’s VP of electric engineering, asset and regulatory work. She has been with the company for more than 20 years and will pass her position on to Martin Wyspianski, PG&E’s current senior director of electric and gas acquisition. During his time at PG&E, Wyspianski also has led the utility’s renewables portfolio and its grid innovation team.

“These talented leaders are trained engineers who live and breathe safety and carry an unwavering focus on our customers and the hometowns that we’re privileged to serve,” PG&E Corp. CEO Patti Poppe said in a statement. “We are continuing to benefit from a strong bench of high-quality leaders with deep operational expertise to deliver results on behalf of our customers.”

Shares of PG&E (Ticker: PCG) were down about 5% to roughly $9.75 on the afternoon of July 5, a day when energy stocks as a group were taking it on the chin. Year to date, the stock has fallen 20%, trimming the company’s market capitalization to about $19 billion.

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