The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the results of the AGL Energy Ltd 2022 Annual General Meeting, where the four directors nominated by Grok Ventures (Christine Holman, Kerry Schott, Mark Twidell and John Pollaers) received majority support and will join the company board.
In addition, AGL received a ‘first strike’ on remuneration.
Commenting on the results of the meeting, Brynn O'Brien, Executive Director, The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), said:
“History has been made today. The board of an Australian listed company has been transformed by shareholders over its handling of climate risks.
“This is both a victory for shareholders and a scathing indictment on those who spent years destroying shareholder value by delaying the inevitable in the face of an escalating energy transition. It is vital that lessons are learned from AGL’s colossal waste of time and shareholder funds.
“Today’s events have demonstrated that the direction of high emitting companies can change and that energy transition is an immense opportunity that must be harnessed to enhance shareholder value and mitigate climate risk.
“The boards of other high-emitting companies should be taking note of today’s outcome: climate risk management is an ever increasing pressure and those who remain flat-footed in the face of rapidly shifting market dynamics will be held to account.
“With a great combination of diverse energy expertise and climate ambition, this renewed board has the capacity to both enhance and execute AGL’s Climate Transition Action Plan in an increasingly competitive energy market, along with growing shareholder value.
“It now needs to attract a suitably qualified and dynamic CEO, which the board to date has struggled to do.
“Patricia McKenzie should be held accountable for her poor judgment since assuming the role of Chair. From her adversarial relationship with AGL’s largest shareholder to her dismissive attitude towards the skills and expertise of independent director candidates who shareholders have now roundly endorsed. The first strike AGL received on remuneration also demonstrates the Chair’s misreading of the expectations of large shareholders.
“At every junction, Ms McKenzie has taken the wrong turn.
“ACCR has been engaging with AGL since 2015, today's result is a vindication of the power of shareholder engagement to produce real change.”
ACCR’s analysis and voting intentions regarding the AGL directors can be found here.
Disclosure of potential conflict of interest: Ms Armina Rosenberg, who sits on ACCR’s Office Bearers’ committee, is 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 an 11% interest in AGL. Ms Rosenberg has had no role in ACCR’s decision-making and analysis in relation to AGL and its CTAP, the directors proposed for election, and the expired takeover bids. No financial relationship exists between ACCR and Grok or any Mike Cannon-Brookes entity, and no Grok or Mike Cannon-Brookes entity is or has ever been an ACCR donor.