Pico Holdings, a holding company that owns one subsidiary, Vidler Water Co., is closing its La Jolla office, its executives announced in an Aug. 8 earnings call.

And, with the company's assets consisting nearly entirely of Vidler, Pico director Eric Speron said the board had decided to appoint Vidler CEO Dorothy Timian-Palmer to run the company because of her experience in water development matters.

The company once also had equity in land and oil and gas operations.

Timian-Palmer takes over the top spot at Pico from Max Webb, fewer than two years after he was named to the CEO role.

In the wake of the shakeup, Webb becomes executive chairman, a newly created role. Later this year he said he will return to his former role with Pico as chief financial officer. Pico's current CFO, John Perri, is leaving the company, Pico said.

Timian-Palmer called the closure of the La Jolla office a "difficult decision," but that moving its financing and accounting functions from there to its Carson City office would reduce costs.

Reach reporter Sarah de Crescenzo at sarahd@sdbj.com.