The former head of the State Power Corporation was reported to have fled the country because of the government's anti-corruption drive. Gao Yan is a former president and chief executive of the SPC, which is soon to be broken into seven companies, five of which will manage power generation and two will manage the grid.
Gao, a protege of National People's Congress chairman Li Peng, is a member of the Communist Party's Central Committee. He is a former governor of Jilin and Yunnan provinces. According to the New York Times, Gao fled to Australia as investigators looked into his family's financial transactions.
Despite Gao's departure, the newspaper said that the State Council has made several key personnel changes in the power sector in advance of the SPC restructuring, which is due by the end of this year. Sources said that most of the appointments were in the new power transmission and distribution companies and in the proposed industry watchdog, the China Electricity Regulatory Commission. Zhao Xicheng, a vice-president of State Power since 1997, was reported to have been named president of the provisionally named State Power Grid Co.