AGL boss departs, demerger to continue

·2-min read

AGL boss Brett Redman is leaving the energy provider after only last month starting efforts to create separate coal-fired power and clean energy businesses.

The company on Thursday said Mr Redman had resigned after two and a half years as CEO, effective immediately, as he could not commit beyond the proposed demerger.

AGL plans to have one business offering low carbon-emitting technologies, providing consumers electricity, gas, internet and mobile services. The other will continue operating coal-fired power stations to generate electricity.

The AGL board wanted alternative leadership to guide the demerger once it became aware of Mr Redman's situation.

He had made the initial case for the structural separation of the business.

Chairman Graeme Hunt will stand down to become interim managing director and chief executive.

He will be paid a salary of $1.65 million, and receive $600,000 worth of company shares.

Non-executive director and former Oil Search CEO Peter Botten will take the chairman role.

However, Mr Redman will remain available to AGL until the expiry of his notice period on October 21.

Concerns about climate change, shifts in government policy and cheaper technology have prompted the decision to split the business.

Clean energy supporters have called on AGL to shut down its coal-fired power stations.

Smart Energy Council boss John Grimes said Mr Hunt must provide a strategy to close the stations and embrace renewables.

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility's Dan Gocher called for the same plan.

The coal-fired Bayswater and Liddell stations are in NSW, while the Loy Yang station is in Victoria. AGL will close Liddell next year.

The gas-fired power station on Torrens Island, South Australia, has also been controversial for its environmental impact.

There are plans to build grid-scale batteries at each site, which will provide clean energy.

UBS analysts have said they expect the energy provider in about June will give projected earnings of the demerged companies.

The analysts said they estimated the demerger would then take at least 12 months.

Shares dropped as low as $8.65 on Thursday, and were down 2.1 per cent to $8.87 at 1436 AEST.