Dominion taps new CEO, rearranges top leadership
Thomas Farrell to become executive chair; Robert Blue will be president and CEO
Dominion Energy Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II will become executive chair effective Oct. 1. Robert M. Blue, the Richmond-based Fortune 500 energy utility’s executive vice president and co-chief operating officer, will succeed Farrell as president and CEO, the company announced Friday.
Also on Friday, Dominion announced an unaudited net loss of $1.2 billion for the three months ended June 30, 2020, compared with a net gain of $54 million for the same period in 2019. The company cited worse-than-usual weather problems and costs associated with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Supply Header projects, as well as net gains on nuclear decommissioning trust funds in contributing to the quarterly numbers. On July 5, Dominion and Duke Energy announced they were abandoning plans to build the $8 billion, 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
As a result of the leadership change, Diane Leopold, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer, will become Dominion’s sole chief operating officer, responsible for all the company’s operating segments. Edward H. “Ed” Baine will become president of Dominion Energy Virginia.
Farrell, who joined Dominion in 1995, became president and CEO in 2006 and chairman in 2007. He will continue to serve on Dominion’s board of directors.
“One of my goals as CEO was to build a strong leadership team and a long-term succession plan,” said Farrell. “Today’s announcement is the next step in that process. There is no established time frame for my role as executive chair, and I look forward to continuing to serve the company on behalf of our shareholders, customers and communities. I will be particularly focused on continuing to develop our strategic plan and Dominion’s leadership in the new clean energy economy.”
Blue joined Dominion in 2005 and has served in several top leadership positions, including as president of Dominion Virginia Power. Before working for Dominion, he was a counselor and director of policy for Gov. Mark Warner. He started his career as an attorney and partner at Hogan & Hartson and as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. He serves on the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, is a board member and past chair of the Virginia Healthcare Foundation and also serves on the board for Communities in Schools of Virginia. Blue is a graduate of the University of Virginia, Yale Law School and the U.Va. Darden School of Business.
Leopold joined Dominion in 1995 and currently serves as chair of the American Gas Association. She sits on the Virginia Union University Board of Trustees and is on the board of directors of Markel Corp. and of the GO Virginia Foundation. Leopold is a graduate of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and has a master’s degree in engineering from George Washington University. She earned her MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Baine, who in 2019 was named Dominion Energy Virginia’s senior vice president for power delivery, also joined Dominion in 1995. He started as as an associate engineer after earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. He is a member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. He also serves on the boards of the Southeastern Electric Exchange Board of Directors, the Dominion Energy Credit Union, ChamberRVA, Venture Richmond, CJW Medical Center, the Valentine museum and MEGA Mentors.