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Changes to Mighty River Power leadership team

Changes to Mighty River Power leadership team

Mighty River Power today announced a realignment of its leadership team under incoming Chief Executive Fraser Whineray from 1 September as the Company prepares for the next phase of its evolution.

Chief Executive Designate, Fraser Whineray, said the electricity industry and Mighty River Power’s business had evolved significantly over recent years. The new leadership structure would ensure stability and, at the same time, effectively support the Company’s growth ambitions in a highly dynamic market.

Fraser Whineray, previously GM Operations, will become Mighty River Power’s Chief Executive on 1 September 2014, following the departure of current Chief Executive Doug Heffernan on 31 August after 16 years with the Company.

Mr Whineray said: “This is a natural time for us to reset the business for the future as we prepare for how to address the challenges brought about by intense retail competition and flat domestic demand. This has created opportunities for innovation and how we bring the benefits of new and emerging technologies to customers.”

Dr Heffernan said the current leadership structure was formed five years ago in preparation for a Chief Executive succession and sharemarket listing. The business focus at the time was on growing generation and customer market share – through the successful completion of three major geothermal power stations that have displaced fossil fuel generation with renewable power in New Zealand’s energy mix. With the completion of those projects and the IPO, and the forthcoming Chief Executive change, he said it was now time for the Company to refocus for the future.

“We are seeing major changes in the electricity industry, and the time is right for Fraser to realign the team as he considers the evolving business priorities and seeks to build on the existing skills and expertise to plan ahead,” Dr Heffernan said.

Mr Whineray said the realignment of roles and responsibilities would see changes to all of the current leadership team roles, to varying degrees (descriptions of each role below). The key changes are:

• New roles of GM Hydro/Wholesale and GM Geothermal have been created, which will replace the disestablished roles of GM Operations and GM Development. Mark Trigg, currently GM Development, has decided to leave the Company towards the end of the year but has agreed to act in the role of GM Geothermal to assist through the CEO transition.

• A new role of GM Strategy & Communications has been created to support Mighty River Power’s future direction, and current General Counsel and Company Secretary, Tony Nagel, has been appointed to the new role of GM Corporate Affairs and will remain on the leadership team.

• Recruitment will begin immediately for the GM Hydro/Wholesale, GM Geothermal and GM Strategy & Communications roles, with temporary arrangements in place until these roles are filled.

Mr Whineray said he was confident that the leadership structure would build on Mighty River Power’s strong team and business platform.

“The future growth of our Company will be different from what it has been in recent years as we move away from building large single-site power stations and market share, to making sure that our customers are right at the forefront of our business,” he said.

Changes to Mighty River Power leadership team:

General Manager Customer

James Munro

James (currently GM Retail) moves into the role of GM Customer and remains responsible for the Company’s retail electricity brands Mercury Energy, Bosco, and Tiny Mighty Power and the primary focus on customers.

Chief Executive Metrix

Matthew OIde

The role of Chief Executive Metrix is confirmed as a permanent position on the leadership team to support the strategic importance of Metrix in progressing growth plans in New Zealand and overseas. Matthew OIde, previously Acting Chief Executive of Metrix, has been appointed permanently to the role.

General Manager Hydro/Wholesale


A separate GM Hydro/Wholesale role has been created to optimise portfolio performance, taking into account the fundamental variability of both hydrology and wholesale electricity markets. The role is responsible for all aspects of hydro operations (representing more than 10% of New Zealand’s electricity generation), thermal production, wholesale markets, large commercial and industrial sales, and associated regulatory compliance. Recruitment to fill the role will begin immediately.

General Manager Geothermal

Mark Trigg (Acting)

Mighty River Power’s investment of $1.4 billion in geothermal development and the successful construction of three major geothermal power stations has grown geothermal to more than 40% of the Company’s annual production. The creation of the GM Geothermal role allows both domestic and international geothermal activity to be brought under one member of the executive team. The new role is also responsible for technical services, drilling and joint ventures. Mark Trigg will be acting in this role in the short-term, and a permanent replacement will be recruited later in the year.

General Manager People & Safety

Marlene Strawson

Marlene Strawson (currently GM Human Resources) moves into the role of GM People and Safety, and will retain responsibility for human resources, internal communications and health and safety across the Company.

Chief Financial Officer

William Meek

William Meek remains in the role of Chief Financial Officer.

General Manager Strategy & Communications


The newly created role of GM Strategy & Communications will support the Company’s future direction, and oversee strategic projects, ICT (Information, Communication & Technology) and external and strategic communications. This role will be recruited later in the year.

General Manager Corporate Affairs

Tony Nagel

Tony Nagel (currently General Counsel and Company Secretary) has been appointed to the new role of GM Corporate Affairs, which includes the Company’s legal and regulatory policy functions. Tony’s current responsibility for the external communications function will be reallocated to GM Strategy & Communications.


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