CLP chief executive Andrew Brandler will join the private office of the Kadoorie family as chairman after he leaves the firm in the third quarter, said Michael Kadoorie, the utility's chairman.
After yesterday's annual shareholders meeting of CLP, which provides electricity to areas other than Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island, Kadoorie said Brandler, 56, would take the place of Ian Boyce, 68. Boyce, a non-executive director at CLP, has been chairman of Sir Elly Kadoorie & Sons since April 2006. Brandler and Boyce had worked at British investment bank Schroders.
Kadoorie said that Brandler would be "still very much involved" in CLP's development, as he would become a non-executive director.
"I have been chief executive for CLP for 13 years … [which] is a long time for doing one job," Brandler said. "It is time to hand over to my colleague Richard Lancaster, who will have 10 years ahead of him to take this company forward." Lancaster is 51.
As its 20-year agreement to source gas from the South China Sea's Yacheng field, which is close to depleting, nears an end in 2016, CLP has been facing intense public opposition to tariff increases resulting from higher gas costs. Gas from a new field near Yacheng and from Central Asia costs about three times that from the Yacheng field.
The Environment Bureau projected earlier that gas use would need to double by 2015 to comply with more stringent emission control requirements, but Vivian Lau Lee-kwan, the deputy permanent secretary for the environment, said in January that better-than-expected effectiveness of sulphur scrubbers already installed meant gas usage might be less than expected.
Betty Yuen, the vice-chairman of CLP's operations in the city, said that while CLP would try to improve its scrubbers' efficiency and to use more low-emission coal amid a depressed coal market to minimise the tariff increases, these efforts would not change the "big picture" that sizeable tariff rises were needed to pass on higher fuel costs.