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Unison Group enters new phase as Chief Executive announces retirement

Long-standing Chief Executive of Unison Group, Ken Sutherland, has announced his intention to retire by July 2023.  In the meantime, Mr Sutherland will continue to work to meet the company’s goals and to work with the Board to ensure a smooth transition to his eventual successor.

Mr Sutherland has led the Hawke’s Bay consumer owned electricity networks company, Unison Networks, for 20 years. He commenced his position in 2002 at a time when Unison was known as Hawke’s Bay Network Limited.

Unison Group Chair, Philip Hocquard, says he has been impressed by Mr Sutherland’s sustained dedication and desire to see the business grow and succeed for the benefit of the consumers of Hawke’s Bay, throughout his tenure.

“Ken’s leadership over the past two decades has seen the Unison Group achieve significant growth and positive change, putting us in good stead for the future,” says Mr Hocquard. “The group is in a sound position, with forecast group annual turnover of $314 million and EBITDA of more than $104 million.”

Mr Sutherland says, “It has been an absolute privilege to lead the Unison Group of companies over the past 20 years and it is with mixed emotions that I announce my intention to retire.”

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly. There is always more to do and achieve. I am extremely proud of the progress and direction of the company throughout my time with Unison.   We have grown to be a recognised contributor to our sector. This could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of the fantastic team we have in the Unison Group.  It is a privilege to continue to lead this talented team who are focused on delivering their best for our communities, customers, the business and our wider industry. 

“I especially want to acknowledge my wife Debra who has been my rock with her unwavering support, patience and love throughout my career. I am looking forward to dedicating more of my time to her and our family.

“The energy sector is on the cusp of some exciting challenges and opportunities as we strive to navigate ways to achieve our collective decarbonisation objectives and to lead a sustainable energy future. Under the guidance of the Board and Shareholder, the Unison Group is in a very good position to meet that challenge successfully”.

The Board will be seeking over the coming months to select and appoint a successor to the role of Group Chief Executive and a national and international recruitment drive will commence shortly.

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