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Hydro One names new board of directors after en masse resignation

Last Updated Aug 14, 2018 at 10:09 am EST

The Hydro One building is seen in an undated file photo. HANDOUT

A new board of directors has been appointed to Hydro One Ltd. just over a month after its chief executive retired and the entire board resigned en masse.

Ten new board members were named as replacements for Hydro One’s previous 14-member board, which resigned last month.

The power utility says former CIBC executive Tom Woods will serve as the interim board chair until the new directors can convene to permanently fill the position.

The new board comes in a time of sweeping change for Hydro One.

Its chief executive Mayo Schmidt suddenly retired last month after political intervention.

He had been labelled “the six-million-dollar man” on the campaign trail by newly elected Premier Doug Ford for his hefty compensation.

Under a deal reached with the new Tory government, Schmidt was not entitled to the $10.7 million severance he would have been entitled to if he’d been removed by the board, and instead received a $400,000 lump sum payment in lieu of all post-retirement benefits.

Several days later, Ford’s Progressive Conservatives introduced omnibus legislation that in part would grant the government authority to approve executive compensation at the utility.

In addition to Woods, the Province of Ontario, Hydro One’s largest shareholder, named lawyer Cherie Brant, former OMERS executive Blair Cowper-Smith and former BMO executive Russel Robertson to the board.

The six directors nominated by Hydro One’s ad hoc nominating committee are:

  • Former Weyerhaeuser executive Anne Giardini
  • Former New Brunswick Power chief executive David Hay
  • Alignvest Capital Management managing partner Timothy Hodgson
  • Canada Post interim chief executive Jessica McDonald
  • Former Sappi Fine Papers chief executive William Sheffield
  • Melissa Sonberg, executive-in-residence at McGill University’s Desautel Faculty of Management.

 

The new board was named as the utility reported a second-quarter profit of $200 million or 33 cents per diluted share, up from a profit of $117 million or 20 cents per diluted share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 totalled $1.48 billion, up from $1.37 billion in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Hydro One said it earned 32 cents per diluted share, up from an adjusted profit of 20 cents per diluted share a year ago.