Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") President and Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") H. Stanley Marshall announces that he will retire as President and CEO and Director of the Board of Directors of Fortis, effective December 31, 2014. Mr. Marshall's career with Fortis spans 35 years and he has been at the helm as President and CEO for more than 18 years.
The Board of Directors of Fortis announces that Barry Perry, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Fortis will succeed Mr. Marshall as CEO, effective December 31, 2014. As part of the transition process, Mr. Marshall will relinquish his role as President to Mr. Perry on June 30, 2014.
Mr. Marshall, 63, has led Fortis since 1996 when he was appointed President and CEO. Under his leadership, Fortis has grown into the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada, and the Corporation's total assets have grown almost twentyfold from less than $1.0 billion in 1996 to $18.6 billion today.
"I'm very proud of what we have achieved at Fortis over the last 25 years. I want to thank all of those dedicated employees, both past and present, who have contributed to our success. Fortis is strong and well-positioned for greater success in the years ahead. I have absolute confidence in Barry and the team to make it happen," says Mr. Marshall.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stan Marshall for his exemplary leadership over the past two decades," says David Norris, Chair of the Board. "Under Stan's vision of profitable growth through strategic acquisitions, our regulated electricity and gas utility business has been transformed in terms of both size and geographic diversity. Stan's significant accomplishments include the Corporation's expansion in western Canada through the acquisition of the Aquila electric utility assets in Alberta and British Columbia in 2004, the acquisition of Terasen Gas in British Columbia in 2007 and our initial entry into the United States with the acquisition of New York State utility Central Hudson Gas and Electric in 2013. Since Stan became CEO in 1996, our total shareholder return is approximately 855% and the average annual total shareholder return is approximately 13%."
"Stan will leave Fortis with a strong foundation and forward outlook," notes Mr. Norris. "Upon closing of the acquisition of UNS Energy in Arizona, the Corporation's total assets will increase to approximately $25 billion and Fortis utilities will serve more than three million electricity and gas customers. On behalf of the Board, I would like to personally thank Stan for his leadership and tremendous contributions as President and CEO to the growth and success of Fortis and for his invaluable assistance to the Board in the succession process."
"We are pleased to announce Barry Perry as the next President and CEO of Fortis. Barry is highly regarded and widely respected within the Fortis organization and throughout our industry for his extensive knowledge of our business and strong leadership skills. The Board members unanimously agree that he is the right person to continue to build on Stan's legacy of success," says Norris. "Over the past several months, the Board has undertaken an extensive executive assessment process as part of our broader succession planning. This process confirmed that we have an exceptional group of talented senior executives and leadership depth within our organization which, in many respects, is due to the guidance and mentoring by Stan as CEO over the years."
"I am delighted that the Board has chosen Barry as my successor. Barry brings a continuity of strategy, culture and values shared by our Board, senior executive team and across our organization," says Mr. Marshall.
"Over his tenure, Stan focused on growing our utility business profitably while ensuring we met our obligation to serve our customers," says Barry Perry. "I intend to maintain that focus as we continue to pursue our vision to be a leader in the North American utility industry. I would like to thank the Board and Stan Marshall for having the confidence in me to lead this strong organization."
Mr. Perry joined the Fortis organization in April 2000 as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer ("CFO") of Newfoundland Power Inc. He has served as Vice President, Finance and CFO of Fortis since January 2004.
Fortis is the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada with total assets of approximately $18.6 billion and fiscal 2013 revenue exceeding $4 billion. Its regulated utilities account for approximately 90% of total assets and serve approximately 2.5 million customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation's non-utility investment is comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada.
Fortis includes forward-looking information in this material within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada ("forward-looking information"). The purpose of the forward-looking information is to provide management's expectations regarding the Corporation's future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities, and it may not be appropriate for other purposes. All forward-looking information is given pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words "anticipates", "believes", "budgets", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "will", "would" and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words. The forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on assumptions developed using information currently available to the Corporation's management. Although Fortis believes that the forward'looking statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties. For additional information on risk factors that have the potential to affect the Corporation, reference should be made to the Corporation's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and to the heading "Business Risk Management" in the Corporation's annual and quarterly Management Discussion and Analysis. Except as required by law, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward'looking information as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date hereof.