Essential Energy has appointed a new chief executive with John Cleland to lead the way for Australia’s largest electricity distribution network.
As an experienced senior executive and finance professional, Mr Cleland brings comprehensive leadership experience with large and complex organisations in the infrastructure – rail, ports, energy transmission and distribution – resources, transportation, logistics and agribusiness sectors.
He takes over from Gary Humphreys who has been acting in the position during one of the organisation’s most difficult and unsettled phases following widespread staffing cuts and work place union disputes.
Essential Energy Chair, Patricia McKenzie said the Essential Energy board was impressed with Mr Cleland’s extensive financial and commercial experience and his successes in CEO, chairman and non-executive roles in complex and challenging environments.
“While we continue to face significant challenges, Essential Energy has exciting opportunities before it in the coming years, and the Board is confident John will lead the company to a successful future,” Ms McKenzie said.
“John’s experience combines infrastructure, government, and large scale productivity improvement initiatives, making him an exceptional candidate for the role and I welcome him to Essential Energy’s business.”
Most recently, John was Head of Infrastructure, Coal Division at Anglo American PLC, one of the world’s largest, and most globally diversified, mining businesses. Prior to this, he was CEO of WestNet Infrastructure Group in Perth with responsibility for all aspects of operating performance.
Mr Humphreys, will continue with Essential Energy as Deputy CEO, supporting John Cleland as the business continues its transformation journey. As part of Gary’s ongoing portfolio, he will continue to assume responsibility for the workplace determination currently before the Fair Work Commission.
“I would like to thank Gary Humphreys for his significant contribution during his time as acting CEO and look forward to working with everyone in the Essential Energy business as we continue our reform journey in delivering a safe, reliable and cost efficient electricity network for the people of regional and rural NSW,” Ms McKenzie added.