Transpower Chief Executive to depart

30 May 2013

Transpower Chairman Mark Verbiest today announced that Patrick Strange, who has held the position of Chief Executive of the company since 2007, has informed the company that he will be leaving Transpower in early 2014 to pursue other interests.

“Patrick’s departure follows a period of essential investment in the National Grid,” said Mr Verbiest. “He has successfully led the company through its major capital investment programme including the construction of the transmission line through the central North Island, the HVDC Pole 3 Project and the North Auckland and Northland Project to enhance security and reliability of electricity supply in New Zealand.”

“These new transmission assets reflect investments of $3.8 billion and are critical to our economy. To be able to accomplish this is testament to his skills and resilience as a leader and also to his commitment to the electricity industry and New Zealand,” he said.

“Two of the critical areas that Patrick has focused on during his time with Transpower, are the transformation of Transpower’s reputation with our customers, landowners and communities and the creation of a new safety culture – both I know are of paramount importance to him. Our open and transparent dialogue with our landowners and customers is a direct outcome of his leadership and commitment to those affected by our works.”

“His commitment to improving safety in the workplace has been outstanding and is well recognised by those throughout the industry. He has developed a strong management team and has been a true champion of a ‘zero harm’ culture in the workplace.”

Transpower is still in the process of completing its major transmission programme, and Patrick Strange will continue as Chief Executive until early 2014.

“Patrick will leave with a job well done; but more importantly he has led Transpower through a very challenging period and has created a legacy for the future of all New Zealanders.”

“The Transpower Board is initiating a recruitment process for a new Chief Executive and an announcement regarding that appointment will be made later in the year,” Mr Verbiest said.

Background

Following completion of his PHD in engineering at University of Auckland, Patrick Strange spent 13 years in Europe and North America, working as an engineer and executive. When he first returned to New Zealand in 1991, he worked for Fletcher Challenge as General Manager, Power Generation, overseeing the company’s energy investments.

Patrick joined Vector (then Mercury Energy) in 1997, and led the company’s response to the Auckland power crisis. He was then appointed CEO, a role he held until 2003. He led Vector’s successful acquisition of United Networks in 2002. He also has held positions as a company director with both Contact and Mighty River Power before becoming Transpower’s Chief Executive in 2007.