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AGL culls senior ranks ahead of historic coal demerger

Energy giant AGL is culling its executive ranks in a leadership shake-up as it embarks on a historic demerger to separate its carbon-heavy coal and gas-fired power stations from its retailing business.

Australia’s largest and oldest utility told staff on Tuesday that four of its nine-person executive team would leave the company ahead of or shortly after the demerger, expected to take place in June 2022.

AGL intends to split off its power generation business into a separate company.

AGL intends to split off its power generation business into a separate company.Credit:Caria Gottgens

AGL’s head of future business and technology, John Chambers, will depart in February 2022; head of corporate affairs Liz McNamara and head of strategy and corporate development Joao Segorbe will leave at the demerger; and company secretary John Fitzgerald will depart six months after, expected to be in December 2022.

Staff were also told that both demerged businesses would be shifting their corporate headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne.

“Today we can confirm we are making progress with designing two organisational structures,” an AGL spokeswoman said.

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“Both organisations will be headquartered in Melbourne and both will continue to have a strong presence in Sydney.”

AGL, the nation’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitter, is progressing plans to separate itself into two companies as the accelerating clean-energy transition drives down wholesale power prices and hammers its profits. Under the demerger, a new company, Accel Energy, will own AGL’s fleet of huge coal- and gas-fired power plants. The other, to be called AGL Australia, will hold its power, gas and telecommunications retailing business along with some cleaner generation assets.

At Accel – to be led by Graeme Hunt – Amanda Lee has been named chief people officer and Melinda Hunter will be general counsel and company secretary. A recruitment process for its chief financial officer remains ongoing.

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