Mark Ford has stepped down as chairman of Solid Energy for health reasons after 1 ½ years bedding down a major restructuring programme at the troubled state-owned coal miner Solid Energy.
Ford departed last week, interim chair Pip Dunphy told parliament’s commerce select committee, where the SOE was appearing to answer questions about its annual review.
Ford is believed to have wanted to reduce his workload after an operation earlier this year. He remains as chief executive of Auckland City’s Watercare unit, a position he has held since 1994, although he is currently on sick leave, a spokesman said.
He was appointed to the role in late 2012 after a clean-out and retirements from the board, and the subsequent departure of chief executive Don Elder. The company has shuttered mines and stopped work on non-core activities that Elder had pushed strongly.
Solid Energy posted a $335 million loss for the year to June 30, reflecting writedowns in the value of its assets of $215.3 million and restructuring costs of $102.2 million.