The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on AGL Energy’s (ASX:AGL) withdrawal of its demerger proposal, and the departure of four directors from the board, including Chair Peter Botten, CEO Graeme Hunt, Diane Smith-Gander and Jacqueline Hey.
The board has committed to a strategic review and board renewal.
In 2021 shareholders demonstrated their support for Paris-aligned targets for both demerged entities—Accel Energy and AGL Australia—voting 54% in favour of ACCR’s shareholder resolution.
Harriet Kater, Climate Lead (Australia) at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“The bloodbath in the boardroom of AGL today was years in the making and well overdue.
“Well before the demerger was announced in March 2021, institutional investors expressed their frustrations with the lack of leadership at AGL.
“With the abandonment of the demerger, the departure of four directors is a welcome step towards a brighter future for AGL shareholders.
“The longest-serving members of the board, particularly Hunt and Botten, have overseen the destruction of an enormous amount of shareholder value, and millions of dollars wasted on a now failed demerger.
“The proposed strategic review must have at its heart alignment with the Paris Agreement, and with that the accelerated transition out of coal-fired power generation.
“The current board of AGL wasted 18 months on the demerger, and five years of underinvestment in renewable energy. New leadership must be brought in to take the company forward.
“AGL is in desperate need of directors that have direct experience in developing clean energy at scale.
“By failing to set Paris-aligned targets for the proposed demerged entities, the board of AGL ignored a fundamental demand of a majority of shareholders less than a year ago, and they’ve now paid the price.”
Armina Rosenberg, who sits on ACCR’s Office Bearers’ committee, is also a portfolio manager at Grok Ventures. Grok Ventures is a business name used by the private investment group controlled by Mike Cannon-Brookes. "Grok Ventures" is a registered business name of Cannon-Brookes Services Pty Limited (ACN 616 170 542) (CBS). An affiliate of Cannon-Brookes Services Pty Limited, the Galipea Partnership, is the holder of a 11% interest in AGL. This potential conflict has been disclosed and Ms Rosenberg has had no role in ACCR’s decision-making on this matter. Ms Rosenberg is currently on parental leave.
AGL Energy - Electricity output by primary energy source
|Landfill gas, biomass and biogas||126||23||0||0|
|Renewables share (%)||8.5%||9.8%||10.0%||12.0%|