Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) announced in a news release this afternoon that it has appointed Eva Zlotnicka of ValueAct Capital to its board of directors.
HEI said the appointment was made effective immediately and that Zlotnicka will be also be appointed to HEI board’s Compensation Committee.
“ValueAct was first attracted to HEI because of its record of progress supporting Hawaii’s commitment to the environment and carbon neutrality. Over the past 18 months, we have established a great appreciation for the State of Hawaii’s unique commitment to renewable energy. We look forward to working with the Company’s leadership as it continues to do what is right for its customers and communities, and I am excited to work with the Company in support of these important goals,” Zlotnicka said in the news release.
Zlotnicka is a managing director of the Spring Fund and head of stewardship at ValueAct Capital, one of HEI’s shareholders.
The appointment comes just a few months after Jeff Ubben, founder and chairman of ValueAct, said in a Nov. 8 letter that HEI “failed to lead the transition away from oil-fired generation to renewable energy” and urged it to look outside the company for new leadership.
Zlotnicka in a Nov. 24 email said, “We are not confident the company will be able to reach future (renewable energy) targets without a significant course correction.”
Jeff Watanabe, chairman of HEI’s board of directors, in a Nov. 12 letter to stakeholders said Ubben’s letter was “disappointing. … The letter is a misguided, factually inaccurate and misleading attack on HEI, Hawaiian Electric and our commitment to renewable energy, the state of Hawaii and our valued customers and investors.”
Any issues between HEI and ValueAct were not brought up in today’s announcement.
“We appreciate HEI’s collaborative approach and look forward to supporting their efforts going forward,” Ubben said in today’s news release.
“We welcome Eva to the HEI Board,” Watanabe said in the release. “We look forward to her contributions to the Board as we work with management to pursue some of the nation’s most ambitious renewable energy goals, serve our customers and communities affordably, sustainably and reliably, and drive long-term value for all of our stakeholders, including our shareholders.”