Atlassian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes gains seats on board of Australia’s biggest polluter AGL

Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in shock win over Australia’s biggest polluter AGL that’s likely to force up the price of electricity – after he promised to fast forward the closure of coal power plants

  • Mike Cannon-Brookes has won in his bid to install four directors on AGL’s board
  • Mark Twidell, Kerry Schott Christine Holman and John Pollaers were appointed
  • It’s part of a broader effort by the Atlassian co-CEO to transition to renewables 

Tech billionaire MIke Cannon-Brookes has had a huge win as AGL’s largest shareholder after his bid to install four new candidates on the energy company’s board was successful.

AGL chairwoman Patricia McKenzie told shareholders on Tuesday that former Tesla Energy director Mark Twidell, former Energy Security Board chairwoman Kerry Schott, Metcash director Christine Holman and Professor John Pollaers would be joining as new members of the board.

‘The board welcomes these new directors to the board and will work constructively with them in the best of interests of shareholders,’ she said.

Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes (pictured left with former US vice president Al Gore) has been successful in his bid to install four new directors on AGL’s board

Mr Cannon-Brookes’ private company, Grok Ventures, nominated the four candidates as part of a broader effort to transition to renewable energy.

The Atlassian co-founder has long strived to accelerate the closure of the company’s coal-fired power plants and achieve net zero emissions. 

The current AGL board had only initially supported the appointment of Mark Twidell and rejected the other three candidates.

‘The board determined that Mark Twidell, who brings customer-facing experience as well as more than 30 years of experience in the international energy sector, most recently as director, energy programs at Tesla, would prove a valuable addition to the board and the board recommended that shareholders vote in favour of his election,’ Ms McKenzie said.

She added that the other candidates while ‘respected directors in their own right’ had a skill set that was either ‘already present on the board or not aligned to the priority skills that were being sought through the existing board renewal process’.

But the proposal to install the four new directors came to fruition based on proxy investor votes that were submitted before the annual general meeting.

‘Based on the proxies lodged ahead of the meeting, the election of Mark Twidell, Dr Kerry Schott, Christine Holman and John Pollaers as Directors has been supported by our Shareholders,’ Ms McKenzie said. 

‘The Board welcomes these new Directors to the Board and will work constructively with them in the best of interests of shareholders.’ 

More to come