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Harris resigns from AltaGas, Cornhill and Knoll to step in temporarily

Don Horne   


AltaGas Ltd. has announced the immediate resignation of David Harris as President and Chief Executive Officer, and from his position on the AltaGas Board.

“My tenure at AltaGas has been a privilege – whether it was driving key projects to completion like the Northwest BC Hydroelectric Facilities, or leading AltaGas as CEO for the last two years during a time of transformational change,” said Harris.  “AltaGas has exceptional assets, and is poised to become a leader in the new energy economy.”

The Board of Directors of AltaGas and Harris have mutually agreed to his resignation due to a complaint under review by the Board.

“With the closing of the acquisition of WGL, the RIPET project in its final stages of development, and the $6 billion in growth opportunities over the next few years, AltaGas’ future is bright,” continued Harris.  “I leave AltaGas feeling proud of the team’s accomplishments, and I look forward to seeing their continued success.”


According to a company press release, the complaint is not related to AltaGas’ strategy, operations or financial reporting.

David Cornhill, Founder and Chairman of AltaGas, and Phillip Knoll, an experienced industry veteran and Board member, will act as interim co-CEOs until a replacement is found.  A search committee of the Board of Directors has been formed, and the search is currently underway.

Cornhill’s mandate as interim co-CEO is the continued implementation of AltaGas’ strategy; overseeing the asset disposition process – whose objectives remain unchanged; as well as providing leadership to the Executive Committee on all corporate functions including the integration of WGL.  Cornhill will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board during this time.

Cornhill founded AltaGas in 1994, and served as CEO until April 2016.

Knoll will be responsible for overseeing and leading all operational aspects of the company, continuing to advance AltaGas’ capital projects, including RIPET, Central Penn and Mountain Valley Pipelines, as well as Environment, Health, Safety, Security & Sustainability. In conjunction with Knoll assuming the interim co-CEO role, he will be stepping off the Audit Committee temporarily.  He will rejoin AltaGas’ Audit Committee when the permanent Chief Executive Officer is appointed.

Knoll has 35 years of varied experience in the energy sector, primarily related to energy infrastructure companies – including deep midstream, pipeline and utility experience.  Among his senior executive leadership roles, Knoll served as Group Vice President, Duke Energy Gas Transmission, Chair, Management Committee and President for Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, as well as senior roles at Westcoast Energy Inc., TransCanada Pipelines Limited and Alberta Natural Gas Company Ltd.

Knoll also served as Chief Executive Officer of Corridor Resources (2010 – 2014), and was a director of AltaGas Utility Group Inc. from 2005 to 2009. Knoll has also been a director of Heritage Gas (an AltaGas company) since 2003.

“AltaGas has always stayed true to its core values and they are at the heart of everything we do,” stated Cornhill, “I want to thank David Harris for the progress and results AltaGas has achieved under his leadership. However, in order for AltaGas to remain focused on its business priorities, the Board and David Harris have agreed that his resignation is the appropriate course of action for the company.

“AltaGas remains focused on becoming a leading North American clean energy infrastructure company.  Our priorities remain unchanged, and our business is on track.  I am confident that the structure of co-CEO’s we have put in place is the right one, and that Phillip and I have the requisite skill set to lead AltaGas until a replacement is found,” said Cornhill.

“Having served as an AltaGas Ltd. Director since the end of 2015, I have had the opportunity to understand the quality of the assets, the operations and the people of AltaGas,” said Mr. Phillip Knoll.  “AltaGas is at a very exciting and important juncture of its business, and I believe that my strong operational background will serve as a complement to David Cornhill’s interim leadership as co-CEO.”



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