Hydro One CEO to retire, board to be replaced in deal with Ontario government

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford has confirmed plans to replace Hydro One’s board of directors and the retirement of the company’s CEO.

Ford made the announcement at Queen’s Park on Wednesday afternoon during a scrum with reporters.

“They’re gone, they’re done. They’re done. We’re going to turn a new corner,” Ford said.

READ MORE: Doug Ford’s plan to fire Hydro One CEO would cost at least $10.7M

“We’re going to make sure we keep with our promise of reducing hydro rates by 12 per cent.”

In a statement from Hydro One, officials said they struck an agreement with the Government of Ontario on the transition. Schmidt will be leaving the company effective immediately.

“In connection with Mr. Schmidt’s retirement, he will receive amounts consistent with Hydro One’s retirement policies and his employment agreement as previously disclosed and will not be entitled to severance,” the statement said.

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“Mr. Schmidt will receive a $400,000 lump sum payment in lieu of all post-retirement benefits and allowances.”

Throughout the spring provincial election campaign, Ford repeatedly touted plans to fire the hydro company’s CEO, Mayo Schmidt — who he dubbed “the $6-million man.”

Schmidt earned a $6.2-million salary in 2017. The company’s annual shareholders report released on March 29 said he would be entitled to at least $10.7 million in severance if he were to be removed from his job by the board of directors.

Ontario NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns called on Ford to release full details on the transition deal with Schmidt and board members.

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Wednesday’s statement said all of the current board members will resign and be replaced and that the transition should be finished by August 15.

The new board of directors will be tasked with hiring a new CEO.

Paul Dobson, who is currently Hydro One’s chief financial officer, was named acting CEO on Wednesday.

— With files from The Canadian Press and Ryan Rocca

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