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RICHMOND, Va., April 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With tremendous sadness and heavy hearts, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert M. Blue and Lead Director Robert H. Spilman, Jr., of Dominion Energy, Inc. (NYSE: D), announced today the passing of Thomas F. Farrell, II.
Mr. Farrell, who served as the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer from 2007 to 2020, was 66. He had been battling cancer, which took a sudden turn in recent weeks.
"Tom was a peerless mentor and outstanding leader who sought to find innovative solutions to challenges at Dominion Energy, in the utility industry and in the community he called home," said Blue, who came to the company in 2005. "In his tenure at the company, Tom oversaw an era of prosperity and growth, and a long-term transformation that will have a lasting impact on clean energy development and on the health of the environment. Above all else, he loved spending time with his wife, his sons and their spouses, and his grandchildren. We will miss him greatly, and extend our deepest condolences to his loving family."
"Over his years as chairman, Tom shaped the board in his image – strong and able with a keen eye on ethical behavior, diversity and inclusion, public and community service and innovation," said Spilman, who was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009. "The Commonwealth of Virginia has lost a kind soul who was abundantly generous to nonprofits supporting the arts and culture, education and critical community needs."
"We are heartbroken. This is an incredible loss of a remarkable man," said Richard Cullen, former chairman of McGuireWoods, LLP, and brother-in-law of Mr. Farrell.
After graduation from the University of Virginia's School of Law, Mr. Farrell spent more than 15 years practicing law before joining Dominion Energy as general counsel in 1995. Over the next nine years, he served in several senior management positions at the company.
As Dominion Energy focused domestically in 1999, Mr. Farrell and then-Chairman and CEO Thomas N. Capps, led the company's simultaneous divestiture of foreign assets and the successful acquisition of another major U.S. energy company, Consolidated Natural Gas, the following year. The combined company became the nation's largest integrated natural gas and electric power company, and today serves about 7 million electric and natural gas utility customer accounts in eight states.
Mr. Farrell was named president and chief operating officer in 2004, and president and chief executive officer in 2006, and was elected chairman in 2007 – a post he held until April 1, 2021.
During his time as CEO, he focused on growing the company's regulated asset portfolio, building clean energy facilities, reducing pollutant emissions with a commitment to net zero emissions, improving workplace safety, promoting supplier and workplace diversity, hiring veterans, bolstering its philanthropic and community presence, and more. As a leader, he always put the well-being of employees, customers and the communities the company serves first.
He was proud of Dominion Energy's safety accomplishments. The company's OSHA recordable injury rate – the number of reported injuries per 100 employees over a year – fell 78% between 2006 and 2020. And of its efforts to hire military veterans, beginning with an initiative he began as chairman of the Edison Electric Institute called Troops to Energy Jobs. Today, one in five new hires at Dominion Energy served in the Armed Forces, and they make up about 15% of the company's workforce.
In addition, operating earnings – despite sales of oil and gas exploration and production, interstate natural gas pipeline and storage, and merchant generation businesses – increased from $1.8 billion to $3 billion, and the company's market capitalization went up 175%. Meanwhile, Dominion Energy has built the third-largest solar portfolio among U.S. utility holding companies, according to S&P Global, and cut emissions of carbon dioxide in half and methane by a quarter, and slashed emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury by well more than 80%.
Dominion Employees contributed more than 1.5 million hours of their time volunteering in their communities and the company donated more than $400 million to philanthropic causes. Spending with diverse suppliers more than doubled during Mr. Farrell's tenure.
He chaired the board of the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. Mr. Farrell was the chairman of Altria Group, Inc., and served on the AEGIS board of directors.
In the community, he was chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's board of trustees and was appointed to the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia, where he was rector, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a Council on Foreign Relations independent task force that produced the June 2008 report, "Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Foreign Policy."
Mr. Farrell led the Virginia Governor's Commission on Higher Education Reform and served as co-chairman of the Governor's five-member transition committee; as a member of the Governor of Virginia's Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates; as chair of the Virginia Business Council and of the Management Roundtable; and a board member of the Greater Washington Partnership, the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Mr. Farrell received bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Virginia.
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.
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SOURCE Dominion Energy