21/07/2014 - 15:19

Smith departure leads Synergy exodus

21/07/2014 - 15:19


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Smith departure leads Synergy exodus
Mike Smith is stepping down from Synergy after eight years as chairman.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan has confirmed the resignation of Michael Smith from the board of electricity retailer Synergy, a departure which coincided with the exit of three other board members.

There is widespread speculation that the exiting individuals left because of disagreements over governance issues, particularly regarding the re-merger of Synergy and Verve Energy, but this could not be confirmed by Dr Nahan’s office.

Mr Smith’s departure came at the same time as his fellow Synergy board members Margaret Seares, Eric Hooper and Keith Spence stepped down from their positions.

Despite the loss of a highly-regarded executive team, Dr Nahan said the government’s cost-reduction efforts would continue under the direction of a new board of directors.

“There is no doubt that there have been disagreements on the Synergy board, but the bottom line is that the merger of Synergy and Verve has delivered significant cost savings to this point and we are determined to continue with our reform program for the benefit of all Western Australians,” he said.

Dr Nahan today thanked Mr Smith for his work as Synergy chairman for the past eight years.

Mr Smith remains chairman of internet service provider and telco iiNet, as well as recently-floated financial services firm Pioneer Credit.

Mr Smith joined the Synergy board as chairman eight years ago when the company was purely a retailer,” Dr Nahan said.

Synergy is now a very different beast from when Mr Smith came on board.

“It is now a vertically integrated company going through major change at a time when the energy market itself is going through tremendous structural change.”


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