PG&E announced the retirement of Christopher P. Johns in a statement Tuesday, praising his leadership and service. PG&E Chairman and CEO Tony Earley said the board of directors is likely to discuss a replacement plan before Johns' last day December 31.
Johns joined PG&E in 1996 as vice president and controller, becoming president of the state's largest utility in August 2009.
In 2010, a natural gas pipeline explosion rocked San Bruno, a suburb of San Francisco, killing eight people and destroying more than three dozen homes.
The explosion resulted in a record $1.6 billion state penalty against the company earlier this year, which PG&E accepted without appeal.
A federal investigation after the blast faulted both PG&E and lax oversight by the state utilities commission in the explosion.
PG&E is under state and federal criminal investigation related to backroom dealings between state regulators and company officials.
The company's statement did not give a reason for the retirement, and a company spokeswoman had no immediate comment.