LDC MergeCo -- President & Chief Executive Officer
The President & CEO of the soon to be merged Veridian Corporation and Whitby Energy Corporation (LDC MergeCo) will be a strategic and innovative leader who will quickly earn credibility in the eyes of the Board and stakeholders. This new leader will continue the evolution and growth of LDC MergeCo for long-term sustainability, bringing a successful track record of cultural change management at a senior leadership level. Their success will be amplified by an entrepreneurial spirit, strong interpersonal skills, and an uncompromising commitment to safety. They will be challenged to demonstrate sound leadership and strategic expertise to articulate and advance the company’s vision, mission and objectives. This position is responsible for the effective long-term delivery of financial, operational, safety, customer, community and regulatory results.
Direct reports include the Chief Financial Officer, VP Engineering, VP Operations, VP Customer Service, VP Human Resources and Corporate Services, VP Technology & Innovation, and Corporate Secretary. Approximate employees of MergeCo totals 300 FTEs, with an overall annual budget responsibility of $85 million.
Veridian Corporation provides, through affiliated companies, energy-related services to customers located in nine municipalities in east-central Ontario. The core business is distribution of electricity which is provided through the wholly-owned regulated subsidiary, Veridian Connections Inc. ("VCI”). VCI is the fifth largest municipally owned electricity distributor in Ontario. The company is responsible for the safe, reliable delivery of electricity to more than 122,000 residential and business customers in the cities of Belleville and Pickering, the towns of Ajax and Gravenhurst, the Municipality of Port Hope, and the communities of Beaverton, Bowmanville, Cannington, Newcastle, Orono, Port Perry, Sunderland and Uxbridge. A small business focused on renewable energy generation is operated through VCI, separate from the regulated business. New business opportunities in areas such as district energy and broadband, currently being pursued through Veridian Corporation, will move to AffCo MergeCo under the new business model.
Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation is a holding company owned by The Town of Whitby. Contained within are two separate and distinct subsidiaries – Whitby Hydro Electric Corporation and Whitby Hydro Energy Services. Whitby Hydro Electric Corporation is an electricity distributor licensed by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to deliver electricity to homes and businesses in their service area of the Whitby, Brooklin and Ashburn communities. The organization serves more than 41,500 customers. The Whitby Hydro Energy Services Corporation provides energy management and engineering services.
Together, Veridian and Whitby Hydro currently employ approximately 300 employees. Of these, about 85 are management and non-union staff, and the remainder are represented by two unions. Unionized staff at Whitby Hydro are represented by the Power Workers Union ("PWU”) under the terms of two collective agreements; one covering inside staff and another covering outside staff. Both expire at the end of June 2019. Veridian inside and outside staff are covered by a common collective agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ("IBEW”) It expires at the end of March 2019. A total of about 50 employees are currently represented by the PWU and about 140 by the IBEW.
Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation and Veridian Corporation have agreed to merge and have signed a series of legal documents that will facilitate such a merger. Following this extensive evaluation and community engagement process, the Proposed Transaction was approved by all five shareholders of Veridian Holdco and Whitby Holdco, being: the Corporation of the Town of Ajax, the Corporation of the City of Belleville, the Corporation of the Municipality of Clarington, the Corporation of the City of Pickering and the Corporation of the Town of Whitby.
Any merger requires the approval of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and such approval is pending. It is anticipated that OEB decision on the application will be issued during the first quarter of 2019 and that the merger will be implemented shortly thereafter. An application requesting this approval was submitted on July 30th, 2018, and can be viewed at
In preparation for the newly formed companies, it has been decided to conduct a CEO selection process; one for the new Local Distribution Company (LDC) and one for a new non-regulated energy services company (know in the industry under the generic term Affiliated Company or "AffCo”). These two new legal entities will have very distinct and different business models. The LDC will focus more on traditional operations and maintenance in the delivery of electricity to its customers, while the AffCo will be entrepreneurial in nature, focusing on providing a wide range of energy solutions to an equally wide range of customers.
This position profile is for the President & CEO of LDC MergeCo; a separate position profile is available for the CEO of AffCo MergeCo.
We are seeking a seasoned leader with demonstrated expertise and a proven track record to lead the following:
- Clearly define and communicate a long-term vision for the company that provides employees the focus and direction on how their actions help the company achieve its goals
- Build a performance-oriented culture:
1. Implement systems to support individual and organizational accountability, e.g. goal setting, performance review, aligning rewards with performance, and meaningful development plans2. Focus on execution – set stretch goals and hold each other accountable for accomplishment of objectives3. Drive the completion of major initiatives
- Drive operating efficiency and seize opportunities to maximize growth in traditional business areas while exploiting new growth opportunities, including emerging technologies and new service offerings
- Ensure all activities are carried out within the appropriate regulatory framework
- Articulate an organizational philosophy and structure that is responsive to traditional business requirements and new opportunities to increase shareholder value
- Attract, retain and develop the leadership talent throughout the organization to support the aspirational goals and the operating plans of the company
- Foster creativity and innovation internally and actively look for new ideas outside the company. Continually build a fact-based understanding of the forces that will impact the industry structure
- Establish and maintain a close highly professional relationship with regulatory and legislative bodies, industry associations, other LDC’s and the research community to proactively monitor, digest, and exploit evolving market opportunities/threats
With a vision for the future:
- Have an excellent grasp of the electricity sector in Ontario
- Be able to develop a sustainable vision for the future state of the newly merged corporation
- Exploit technological advancements and opportunities for growth that will increase shareholder value
- Reports to the Board of Directors of LDC MergeCo, with additional reporting to the Merged HoldCo Board according to the shareholder agreement
- With the highest authority in the organization, leads the Corporation with a clearly defined sense of business direction and purpose
- Accountable for sound financial performance
- Responsible for the overall safe, efficient, and reliable provision of energy services to our customers
- Directs the Corporation’s strategic planning activities and provides leadership and overall guidance in both the administration and operation of the Corporation
The new President & CEO will be responsible for successfully merging two companies - their people, systems, and culture - to achieve targeted financial results as dictated by the merger business plan. This will necessarily require much of the focus during the first 12-24 months to be inwardly directed, as the President & CEO establishes a solid internal organizational foundation upon which to build a successful future for LDC MergeCo. To that end, they must be able to:
- Work diligently with the executive team to build a sense of oneness among the entire workforce, by aligning the organization around common goals, processes, and technologies
- Set a positive example for employees by living the values of the newly formed company and dealing decisively (but constructively) with those who have difficulty adapting to the new culture and operating procedures
- Connect the values and objectives of the company with the personal values and goals of the employees by developing a level of trust with employees that ensures their ideas and concerns matter
- Model and instill a belief in employees that change is to be sought out and embraced, not feared
- Under the direction of the Board of Directors, develop a well-defined strategic direction and goals for the Corporation
- Develop mission, vision, and values for the Corporation that look forward 5 to 10 years, considering the changes facing the sector and capitalizing on new opportunities to increase shareholder value
- Establish the Corporation’s priorities, plans and budget aligned with the Corporation’s vision and strategic direction/goals and monitor to ensure results are being achieved
- Ensure the development of Corporation policies, programs and practices in support of the Corporation’s mission
- Establish management processes and specific performance measures that clearly support the long-term strategy
- Lead the Corporation Executive Team in the development of divisional priorities and business plans
- Assess performance and makes timely changes in strategy, structure and resource allocations
- Report on operational and financial results and performance against strategic direction/goals to the Board
Health & Safety
- Drive exceptional performance in Health & Safety and environmental performance
- Define the strategic direction and establish culture, policies, and performance targets to ensure health and safety laws, regulations and standards are met or exceeded throughout the Corporation
- Define roles, allocate responsibilities and accountabilities and delegate duties, while retaining accountability
- Work with Chief Financial Officer to establish the Corporation’s budget and financial plans
- Define appropriate long-term financial objectives and set annual goals consistent with the business strategy
- Work with other corporate executives to develop divisional budgets
- Establish, monitor, and maintain appropriate management systems to provide effective control of operations
- Ensure the effective use of monetary resources throughout the Corporation within established budgetary guidelines
- Demonstrate diligence in all legal and regulatory requirements
- Ensure risks and/or threats to the Corporation are identified, assessed, mitigated and managed appropriately
- Ensure financial records and published reports properly reflect the operating results and financial condition of the Corporation
- Lead the Corporation with a clearly defined sense of business direction and purpose
- Effectively communicate LDC’s vision and values for all employees
- Serve as a role model by creating and fostering a culture of integrity throughout the organization
- Ensure there is in operation an effective framework of governance which provides the direction and parameters within which business is to be conducted, aligns accountabilities and authorities and defines any required policies, standards and guidelines
- Ensure programs are in place that will aid in retaining and motivating the top management team and attracting new management as needed
- Identify and develop the next generation of senior managers
- Promote the development of effective recruiting, training, retention and management development programs for all employees
- Effectively serve as the Corporation’s primary liaison with the industry and community
Government, Environment, Social Relations
- Effectively engage in dialogue with environmental, social, government, and other stakeholder groups to understand their issues and concerns
- Ensure they have an appreciation for the Corporation’s vision, values, business goals, challenges and achievements
- Establish and maintain a close, highly professional relationship with regulatory and legislative bodies
- Establish effective working relationships collectively and individually with the Board of Directors
- Recommend appropriate policies for Board consideration
- With the Chair, ensure that appropriate governance principles are in place, including effective disclosure controls
- Collaborate with the Chair in setting agendas for meetings of the Board of Directors and their Committees
- Report to the Board of Directors on any matters of material consequence for the Corporation and its shareholder
- Maintain effective communication with the Chair and members of the Board of Directors
- Inform and educate the Board of Directors regarding the businesses of the Corporation
- Provide counsel and resource support to the Board of Directors
- Implement decisions of the Board of Directors
- Establish Customer Service strategy, policies, programs and practices in support of a customer-centric organizational culture
- Lead by example, modeling and reinforcing a customer-centric culture throughout all levels of the workforce
- Ensure the Corporation has the appropriate infrastructure and resources concerning people and technology
- Identify opportunities to improve the quality of the Corporation’s operations and the efficient utilization of resources and ensures the establishment of the necessary business processes and internal control systems to support a culture of continuous improvement
- Establish and develop an effective management team to execute business plans and to ensure the recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce
- Set the tone and foster a culture that promotes ethical practices, the values and Code of Ethics and Business Conduct of the Corporation
- Ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations
- Establish Human Resource strategy, policies, programs and practices to ensure the Corporation has the appropriate structure, capacity and skills to operate and achieve its strategic direction/goals
- Develop and implement employee engagement strategies aligned with the organizational values and direction and creates opportunities for engagement
- Maintain solid relations with union executive
- Ensure the Corporation has the capacity to manage change
- Ensure that performance management tools and a succession planning process are established and maintained
- Network with the broader business community to identify business opportunities – e.g., mergers and acquisitions.
- Lead a strategic growth agenda ensuring it has financial and organizational capacity to grow
- Identify, consider, and recommend growth opportunities to be pursued
- Participate in industry forums regarding the direction of the electricity sector to assist in the growth and future of the Corporation, as well as the sector as a whole
- Serve as the public face of the Corporation as the primary spokesperson
- Ensure a strong and positive image is presented to all stakeholders
- Develop and implement strategies to engage stakeholders and maintain an open and positive climate between the Corporation and its stakeholders
- Establish and implement corporate donation and community support policies for the Corporation to give back to the community through monetary commitments and human resource effort
- Establish environmental policies to ensure the Corporation is compliant with environmental laws, regulations and standards
- Create an environmentally proactive image of the Corporation
- Bachelor’s Degree in a related field; Post-graduate studies an asset
- Minimum of 15 to 20 years of experience in an executive leadership position
KEY ATTRIBUTES & COMPETENCIES
Visioning & Alignment
The President & CEO must have an excellent understanding of the Ontario energy sector (or other regulated infrastructure industry) and be able to shape a compelling and inspired vision and strategy for the future state of the newly merged Corporation, which generates commitment and alignment across all aspects of the business and its people. They must be ready to exploit new opportunities for growth, take advantage of new technological advancements, and seize opportunities that will increase shareholder value.
Motivational Change Leadership
The President & CEO manages continuity, change, and transition. A model of integrity and professional behavior, they deal effectively with demanding situations, able to quickly design and implement interventions. He/she confidently builds and develops teams, fosters a respectful and ethical work environment, mobilizes the workforce and champions and delegates courses of action towards the achievement of the strategy and vision of the Corporation. This individual develops people and builds teams, promotes LDC`s values, mission, and vision and knows how to influence and enable others.
Business & Financial Acumen
The President & CEO understands and uses the workings, structure, climate, and culture of the Corporation and the industry to achieve business and growth outcomes. They use and understand financial information to make business decisions, maximize value, and maintain financial health of the Corporation. This position also requires demonstrated knowledge and experience in integrating and coordinating diverse areas of business management, including Human Resources, Finance, Engineering, Operations, Customer Service, Regulatory, Information Technology, Risk Assessment and Mitigation, oral and written communications, planning and evaluation, and governance.
Commitment to Results
The President & CEO is a systems thinker who is customer focused and goal driven. This individual identifies relevant information and helps transform this information into individual and organizational knowledge and learning. The President & CEO is action orientated and innovative. They anticipate and solve problems and take advantage of opportunities. They are a self-starter and team player.
The President & CEO understands and operates sensitively and effectively within the political structures and climates, strategically influencing outcomes.
Relationship & Network Building
The President & CEO seeks and builds alliances, maintains effective relationships, communicates in a compelling and articulate manner instilling commitment. They foster open, respectful, two-way communication channels, internally and externally, to further the strategy and vision of the Corporation.
Negotiation & Consensus Building
The President & CEO actively listens for underlying nuances and messages and uses persuasion to build consensus, manage and/or resolve conflicts, and reach mutually agreeable outcomes.
The President & CEO analyses and synthesizes information to understand issues, identify options, and make appropriate, realistic, and timely decisions based on consideration of the available facts and alternatives and sound calculation of risks.
The President & CEO must remain energized, positive, and focused in the face of ambiguity, change or crisis situations.
To explore this opportunity further, please email your resume (filename - "Last name, First name - CV”), with "LDC MergeCo CEO” in the subject line, in confidence to Larry Sartor at email@example.com.
It is LDC MergeCo’s policy to comply with all applicable laws and regulations which prohibit unlawful discrimination because of race, religion, creed, colour, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or marital status or any other protected class.
We thank all those that apply for the position, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Thank you for your understanding.