Home Energy company AGL Energy’s largest shareholder questions director’s promotion to chairman

AGL Energy’s largest shareholder questions director’s promotion to chairman

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The logo of AGL Energy Ltd, Australia’s second-largest electricity retailer, adorns its headquarters building in Sydney, Australia February 8, 2017. Picture taken February 8, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

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  • Grok leaves door open to vote against McKenzie as president
  • Grok would prefer an externally appointed president
  • AGL shares fall 2%

MELBOURNE/BENGALURU, Sept 19 (Reuters) – AGL Energy (AGL.AX) said on Monday that board member Patricia McKenzie would replace Peter Botten as chairman, in the first stage of an overhaul after the producer electricity has abandoned its plan to split its coal-fired power plants. energy retail production unit.

However, the appointment has not gone down well with its largest shareholder, tech billionaire and climate activist Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has pushed for a complete overhaul of the top producer’s board and strategy. Australian electricity.

AGL is set to lay out plans for a new strategy later this month after bowing to pressure from Cannon-Brookes to speed up the shutdown of its coal plants. learn more (https://reut.rs/3S3IPMz)

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Cannon-Brooke’s private investment arm, Grok Ventures, expressed reservations late Monday about McKenzie’s appointment and said the company would be best served by an externally appointed chairman with substantial energy experience. renewables or operational transformation.

“Grok re-emphasizes that the renewed board needs independent and fresh thinking,” Grok Ventures said in an emailed statement.

Grok did not say how he would vote on McKenzie’s nomination at the company’s annual meeting.

AGL shares fell 2% on Monday, underperforming a 0.3% drop in the broader market.

McKenzie is currently chairman of New South Wales Ports and was also a director of natural gas operator APA Group (APA.AX) and a member of the Australian Government’s National Energy Reform Council.

“The company has gone through a period of significant change and uncertainty, and I am assuming the role of Chair to provide clear direction and stable experienced leadership as we redesign our energy portfolio and deliver the results of the energy review. strategic direction,” she said. in a report.

The appointment comes months after Grok Ventures successfully forced AGL to abandon its split plan in May, leading Botten and AGL CEO Graeme Hunt to resign. (https://reut.rs/3S3IPMz)

The Australian company said outgoing chief executive Hunt would leave on September 30 and chief financial officer Damien Nicks would serve as interim chief executive while he chose a new chief executive from a shortlist of Australian and global candidates.

Grok welcomed Nicks’ nomination.

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Reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Upasana Singh and Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Christian Schmollinger

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