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Mighty River Power appoints Fraser Whineray as new CEO

Mighty River Power appoints Fraser Whineray as new Chief Executive

Mighty River Power today announced that the Company’s current GM of Operations, Fraser Whineray, has been appointed Chief Executive and will take up the role on 1 September 2014.

Mighty River Power Chair, Joan Withers, said Mr Whineray was a “standout candidate” from the global search started in 2013, carried out by Egon Zehnder, which attracted strong interest from high-calibre candidates including Chief Executives from both New Zealand and Australia.

“This was a unanimous decision from our Board and we are confident that Fraser is the right person to succeed our foundation Chief Executive Doug Heffernan and lead the next phase in the evolution of Mighty River Power.

“Fraser has proven his leadership qualities and credentials in driving world-class performance in our operating business, which makes up a large portion of Mighty River – and is fundamental to our financial results.” Mighty River Power’s operations include the nine hydro stations on the Waikato River and five geothermal power stations in the central North Island that harness natural resources to generate renewable energy equivalent to the annual consumption of about one million New Zealand homes.

“I am pleased to say that he has come through a very rigorous search process with flying colours,” Mrs Withers said. “Fraser has been a champion of safety, implementing our major hydro re-investment programme and successfully integrating our new geothermal plants into our portfolio.”

“It is particularly satisfying for our Board to be announcing today the appointment of one of the members of the existing management team, which is a credit to Doug’s focus on creating top leadership talent and succession candidates within the organisation.”

Mighty River Power announced last year that Doug Heffernan would be leaving the Company on 31 August 2014 after 16 years as Chief Executive, with his tenure covering the full 2014 Financial Year and Results relating to the Prospective Financial forecasts in last year’s IPO. Mr Whineray will take up the role of Chief Executive from 1 September 2014 and will be Chief Executive Designate from 1 July 2014 reporting to Doug Heffernan.

Mr Whineray joined the Mighty River Power executive team in 2008 from Carter Holt Harvey (CHH), and currently holds responsibility for the Company’s hydro, geothermal and gas-fired generation operations and wholesale markets portfolio. Prior to CHH he held a number of senior roles in the dairy industry, and with Credit Suisse First Boston – gaining a diversity of domestic and international experience covering FMCG, performance management, strategy, capital markets and mergers and acquisitions.

In congratulating Mr Whineray, Chief Executive Doug Heffernan, expressed pleasure in seeing an experienced young Kiwi come through the competitive selection process and expressed confidence in Fraser’s ability to provide fresh blood into the leadership of one of New Zealand’s largest listed Companies.

“Fraser has been a key contributor to our achievements over recent years in driving performance and achieving greater resilience in our business – particularly with bringing more than 2,800GWh of reliable renewable geothermal generation into our operations, which now makes up more than 40% of our business.

“His experience and understanding from this period in which competitive retail and wholesale markets have evolved rapidly in New Zealand – coupled with his experience in other sectors and internationally – is a great platform and valuable as the Company focuses on the future and the next phase of growth,” Dr Heffernan said.

Mrs Withers said the Board’s Chief Executive search process began in late 2013 with clear criteria focused on finding an experienced and proven leader capable of taking Mighty River Power’s current business and strategic direction forward, with an evolving customer and competitive focus and a commitment to building long-term shareholder value.

“This has been an extremely robust and thorough process – with a great result, and one which we have huge confidence in.”

Mr Whineray is married to Lucy and has two daughters, Emily (8) and Pippa (6).

© Scoop Media

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