CALGARY — Al Monaco, who has headed Enbridge Inc. for a decade, helping to transform it into a diversified North American energy infrastructure company, will retire as chief executive of the Calgary-based company on Jan. 1, 2023.
Monaco, who has served as CEO of the pipeline giant since 2012, will be replaced by current board chair Greg Ebel, the company said Monday in a news release.
To support the transition, Monaco will remain with the company in an advisory capacity until March 1, 2023, Enbridge said.
Monaco led Enbridge through a period of unprecedented growth, which included the company's $37-billion acquisition of Spectra Energy in 2017. The deal accelerated the company's natural gas strategy and expanded its U.S. footprint.
During Monaco's tenure, Enbridge invested more than $60 billion in energy infrastructure projects, including Canada's first export pipeline system to the U.S. Gulf Coast, as well as the company's first international offshore wind project.
“If you look at Al’s legacy at Enbridge, he took a Canadian company that was focused on liquids ... and he grew it. The company is now massive in North America," said Kevin Birn, chief analyst, Canadian oil markets, with S&P Global.
“Enbridge moved from more of a Canadian-focused company, to a truly North American utility.”
Last week, Enbridge signed a deal to sell a minority stake in seven pipelines in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta to a group of 23 First Nation and Metis communities for $1.12 billion, something Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called "the single largest Indigenous transaction in the natural resource sector in the history of North America.''
Monaco called the deal one of Enbridge's proudest moments.
During his time as CEO, Monaco has also been an outspoken advocate of North America's energy industry. His decade at the helm of Enbridge was a tumultous one for the broader industry, featuring everything from boom-time growth in 2012-14 to the contentious politics and protests surrounding North American pipeline projects to the oil price crash of 2014-15.
In 2022, as energy prices skyrocketed on the heels of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Monaco spoke often about the need for conventional energy from North America as well as new, clean technologies to help ease geopolitical tensions.
"It’s been an incredible up and down period, an amazing period of transition for the sector, and he sort of saw (Enbridge) through all of that," Birn said.
In a news release Monday, Monaco said it has been an honour to lead Enbridge and its people over the last decade.
"I'm very proud of what we've accomplished together in building the leading diversified energy delivery company in North America," Monaco said.
"Together, we've ensured that Enbridge is well positioned for the energy transition, strongly advocated for our industry, and delivered on our purpose to fuel people's quality of life."
Ebel, on behalf of the board, thanked Monaco for his "invaluable and bold leadership" during his decade CEO, and throughout his 27 years with Enbridge, in the same release.
"Al's unparalleled leadership, discipline and integrity has ensured that the company is incredibly well positioned to remain a critical component of North America's energy fabric, and to grow, for decades to come," Ebel added.
Monaco also garnered thanks from Lisa Baiton, president and CEO of industry group the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
"On behalf of the upstream oil and natural gas industry, we sincerely thank Al for his collaboration, dedicated service and vision for the energy sector," she said in a statement.
"We also look forward to working with Greg Ebel as Enbridge's next President and CEO and we congratulate him on his new role.”
Ebel has been chair at Enbridge since 2017 and before that was chair and chief executive of Spectra Energy.
Enbridge said a new independent board chair will be named before Ebel takes over the top job.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2022.
Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB)
Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press