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Vesey steps down as AGL CEO

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AGL Energy has announced Andy Vesey will step down as chief executive and managing director with immediate effect, after four years in the role. 

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Vesey will remain at the company in an advisory capacity to the board until December 31, while chief financial officer Brett Redman will take over as interim CEO. 

AGL did not set out the reasons for Vesey’s resignation, but said a domestic and international search process, including strong internal candidates, is well-progressed. 

Chief Financial Officer Brett Redman will step in as interim CEO, while Damien Nicks, general manager, Group Commercial Finance, was named interim CFO, the company said in a statement.

Vesey has stepped down from the board but will remain with the company in an advisory capacity until the end of December.

AGL did not give a reason for Vesey’s departure but AGL chairman Graeme Hunt said a domestic and international search process for a new CEO was already well advanced.

“The board has decided to take that process to the next step,” he said in a statement.

“That search will now enter a final phase to enable us to complete an appointment.”

In a statement Vesey said it had “been an honour to lead AGL” and a privilege engage in “the complex questions of the sustainable transformation of Australia’s energy sector”.

“I am proud of what the AGL team has achieved during those years and I am now looking forward to observing AGL’s continued success,” he said.

Vesey’s sudden exit comes after more than a year of feuding between AGL and the federal government over the company’s plan to shut one of its coal-fired power plants in 2022 at a time when Australia needs coal and gas-fired plants to back up wind and solar power.

In May, AGL turned down a $250 million offer for its ageing Liddell coal-fired energy plant from Chinese-owned Alinta Energy and shunned government pleas to keep the facility open beyond 2022.

Vesey stood behind Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg when then-Premier Jay Weatherill famously shirt-fronted him over the federal government’s treatment of South Australia at a press conference during the state election campaign.

Earlier this month, AGL Energy reported a 28 per cent rise in its full-year underlying profit, bolstered by soaring power prices, although its shares fell as its FY19 forecast came in below analysts’ expectations. 

– AAP

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