(Reuters) -AGL Energy’s top shareholder, Grok Ventures, nominated four additional directors to the Australian power producer’s board on Wednesday, a day before the company is scheduled to spell out plans for a new business strategy.
Tech billionaire and green activist Mike Cannon-Brookes, via his private investment arm Grok Ventures, has been vying for more influence and control at AGL, pushing it to speed up the closure of its coal-fired plants and overhaul its strategy to focus on decarbonisation and renewable energy.
AGL is set to announce details of the new strategy on Thursday.
The current five-member board “would benefit greatly from new directors who bring different and much needed skills to undertake the urgent transformation of AGL”, Grok Ventures in a statement.
“We share the ambition of our many shareholders for decisive action on climate change as well as a strong and sustainable AGL,” Patricia McKenzie, the newly appointed chair of AGL, told Reuters in an emailed response.
“AGL respects the right of shareholders to nominate candidates for election as directors.”
Last week, Cannon-Brookes questioned the promotion of AGL board member McKenzie to chair and he had previously blocked AGL’s plan to split its coal-fired generation unit from the energy retail business.
AGL’s shareholders will vote on board nominations at its annual general meeting scheduled for Nov. 15.
(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Riya Sharma; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Savio D’Souza and Rashmi Aich)