SAN FRANCISCO, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced a major realignment of its natural gas operations under a single senior executive and appointed an experienced turnaround specialist to lead across-the-board performance improvements within the organization. Nick Stavropoulos, a veteran natural gas pipeline operator, will assume responsibility for the utility's entire natural gas business as Executive Vice President, Gas Operations effective June 13.
"Nick is coming to PG&E with a mandate for change and a clear mission to overhaul the company's gas operations and bring them up to world-class safety and performance standards," said C. Lee Cox, interim Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation. "This move puts all of the company's gas operations under a single executive with tremendous operations experience. Nick is being given the authority and access to company resources to achieve our turnaround goals."
Stavropoulos brings to the company 30 years of gas industry experience, including seven years as the top executive in charge of all gas operations for a major utility based in the Northeast. His selection follows an exhaustive nationwide executive search process.
"Nick is one of the most experienced and effective gas operations executives in the country," said former CEO of KeySpan Corporation Robert Catell and current Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research Technology Center at New York State University at Stony Brook. "Nick understands what it takes to run a complex gas system, and he knows it starts with safety. Nick's commitment to safety and to working constructively with regulators and the public was the driving force behind KeySpan's success in making major improvements to aging gas infrastructure in New England."
As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for National Grid's gas distribution business, he managed the largest and oldest urban natural gas system in the Northeast, which served complex urban environments that included the cities of New York, Boston and Providence.
"Nick is a no-nonsense guy who knows every aspect of gas operations inside and out and knows how to get things done," said Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission Chairman Elia Germani. "He helped us tackle the very difficult matter of aging gas infrastructure. With Nick's help we replaced hundreds of miles of cast iron and steel gas lines that needed to be changed. The citizens of Rhode Island were extremely well-served by his leadership."
At PG&E, Stavropoulos will lead a range of improvement efforts, ranging from upgrading and replacing critical infrastructure to revamping its operating policies and practices. Stavropoulos will report directly to the utility's president, Christopher P. Johns.
Johns said, "Nick will have the full support of everyone at PG&E as he takes on this pivotal role. Nothing is more important than assuring our customers they can have confidence in the basic integrity and safety of PG&E's operations."
Stavropoulos will also lead PG&E's response to the ongoing investigations of the San Bruno tragedy and will direct PG&E's team of gas experts in setting new standards for industry best safety practices.
"Nick impressed us with his down-to-earth, hands-on style and his intense focus on safety," said Cox. "Our customers and regulators want to see PG&E fix its problems. We want that, too. Let's give Nick and his team a chance to make the changes we all want."
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.
SOURCE PG&E Corporation