Anthony quits top job at AGL Energy

Former Contact Energy boss Paul Anthony has abruptly resigned as head of Australia's AGL Energy, a week after that country's biggest energy retailer issued a profit warning. Long-serving company executive Michael Fraser has been appointed the new chief executive.

A company statement said Mr Anthony had agreed over the weekend that it was an appropriate time for a change in management. AGL chairman Mark Johnson paid tribute to Mr Anthony. "Paul Anthony has secured many achievements at AGL and has established a firm base on which to build our growth and integration strategy, he said.

But this was not enough to save his job after AGL last week slashed its 2008 earnings outlook, less than three months after issuing the guidance.

The announcement sent its shares tumbling and prompting heavy criticism from market analysts.

Mr Anthony was CEO of Contact Energy immediately after it was privatised and its majority owner was US-based Edison Mission. Australia's Origin Energy has since become the major shareholder.

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