MightyRiver CEO confirms 2014 departure, triggers $500k special payout

The founding chief executive of MightyRiverPower, Doug Heffernan, will leave the company next year after 16 years at the helm under arrangements that trigger a $500,000 retention payment on top of his existing salary of almost $1.5 million last year.

The arrangements mean Heffernan will see through the company’s partial privatisation and its first full financial year as a publicly listed company.

MRP chair Joan Withers announced Heffernan had undertaken to stay on in the role through to the preparation of accounts for the year to June 30, 2014. He will work through to Aug. 31, next year. A variation to his contract, disclosed last year, allows him a $500,000 retention payment for staying on until Dec. 31, 2014.

The government is preparing to sell up to 49 percent of MRP in a share offer to the public next month, with listing on the NZX and ASX expected before the Budget, in mid-May.

MRP had previously announced a variation to Heffernan’s contract, creating a fixed term to either Dec. 31 this year or, at the board’s option, to Dec. 31, 2014, which would trigger the retention payment.

“We are fortunate that Doug, our chief executive since the company’s formation in 1998, has committed through to the finalisation of the accounts to the end of the 2014 financial year, a period in which there will be a lot of eyes on MRP and our performance,” Withers said.

“This provides the board with certainty and the ability to plan for the succession process and appointment of a new chief executive.”

Withers said there had already been considerable thought given to planning for Heffernan’s departure, with a recruitment process expected to begin late this year.


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