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AltaGas CEO David Harris Resigns After Complaint

AltaGas's Pomona Energy StorageAltaGas's Pomona Energy Storage
AltaGas's Pomona Energy Storage.Courtesy of AltaGas

AltaGas Ltd., a Canadian pipeline, natural gas-processing and power-generating company, said Chief Executive Officer David Harris has stepped down as the board investigates a complaint against him.

AltaGas didn’t describe the complaint, but said in a statement Wednesday that it isn’t related to strategy, operations or financial reporting. The company declined to comment further. Founder and Chairman David Cornhill and board member Philip Knoll will serve as interim co-CEOs of the Calgary-based company until a replacement is found.

The resignation comes as AltaGas works to integrate the operations of U.S. natural gas utility WGL Holdings Inc., which it bought in a $4.52 billion deal that closed this month. Harris, who’s also resigning from the board, had served as CEO since April 2016, leading the company through the WGL takeover as well as the sale of part of its stake in of some hydroelectric facilities in British Columbia and the development of the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.

“We view this unexpected departure of David Harris negatively as the company is going through a transformation period with the integration of WGL and provides uncertainty to AltaGas shareholders over long-term leadership,” Ian Gillies, an analyst at GMP FirstEnergy, said in a research note. He maintained his hold rating on the shares.

AltaGas fell 1.6 percent to C$26.66 at 2:58 p.m. in Toronto. The shares already had dropped 5.4 percent this year through Tuesday.