August 24, 2018 / 12:55 AM / a year ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-Australia's AGL Energy says CEO Vesey steps down

(Repeats to more subscribers)

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Australia’s biggest power producer AGL Energy Ltd, said on Friday managing director and Chief Executive Officer Andy Vesey has resigned after almost four years in the role.

Chief Financial Officer Brett Redman would step in as CEO on an interim basis while Damien Nicks, general manager, Group Commercial Finance, was named interim CFO, the company said in a statement.

Vesey has stepped down from the board but will remain with the company in an advisory capacity until Dec. 31 2018. The company did not give a reason for Vesey’s departure.

“A domestic and international search process (for CEO) including strong internal candidates is well progressed, and the board has decided to take that process to the next step. That search will now enter a final phase to enable us to complete an appointment,” said AGL chairman Graeme Hunt.

Vesey’s sudden exit comes after more than a year of feuding between AGL and the federal government over the company’s plan to shut one of its coal-fired power plants in 2022 at a time when Australia needs coal and gas-fired plants to back up wind and solar power.

In May, AGL turned down a A$250 million ($188 million) offer for its ageing Liddell coal-fired energy plant from Chinese-owned Alinta Energy and shunned government pleas to keep the facility open beyond 2022.

Earlier this month, AGL Energy reported a 28 percent rise in its full-year underlying profit, bolstered by soaring power prices, although its shares fell as its FY19 forecast came in below analysts’ expectations. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Richard Pullin)

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