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TransCanada's CEO Resigns

TransCanada's CEO Resigns

After five years as head of one of Canada's largest energy companies, George Watson submitted his resignation to TransCanada's board of directors last week citing "personal reasons." The resignation, which becomes effective July 31, comes just weeks before the company plans to announce a structural shake-up, designed to support its strategic direction. No details of the reorganization are being divulged at this time, a company spokesman said.

"George Watson was instrumental in finding Nova as a merger partner last year. He was instrumental in working out the synergies between the two companies and he headed this upcoming reorganization," said Gary Davis, a TransCanada spokesman. "After positioning the company at a point where he felt it could prosper, he has decided to explore other opportunities." Davis added that Watson's resignation was given without warning.

Richard Haskayne, former chair of Nova Corp. before it merged with TransCanada last year and present chair of TransCanada's board of directors (BOD), will assume Watson's responsibilities as head of the executive management committee. Doug Baldwin, who has been on the company's BOD since April 30 will be the interim CEO effective August 1. Baldwin will oversee the company's day-to-day operations while company's international search for a permanent replacement occurs.

The merger with Nova was one of the highlights of Watson's tenure (See Daily GPI, Jan. 27). The $11 billion transaction formed a company with $21 billion in assets and integrated pipeline control of the main Canadian producing province and transportation across the top of the continent to U.S. and Canadian markets.

No timetable has been set up to find a replacement for Watson. TransCanada said it will announce its restructuring plans before August 1.

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