Leadership

 Contact is led by an experienced and diverse board and leadership team who are committed to our customers, communities, shareholders and people.

Meet our Board of Directors

Rob McDonald

Independent Non-Executive Chair

Term of office: Appointed director 12 November 2015, last elected 2020 annual meeting.
Board committees: Member of the People Committee

Rob’s finance career spans over 30 years, having worked overseas before joining Coopers and Lybrand in the corporate advisory and valuations practice in 1985. He is a director of Fletcher Building Limited, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and AIA Limited, and was formerly the chief financial officer with Air New Zealand. He is a former board member of the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand Inc. and the former vice chairman of the IATA Financial Committee. Rob has a Bachelor of Commerce from Auckland University and in 1999 completed the Program of Management Development at Harvard Business School. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Victoria Crone

Independent Non-Executive Director

Term of office: Appointed director 12 November 2015, last elected 2020 annual meeting.
Board committees: Member of the Audit and Risk Committee

 

Victoria has over 20 years’ experience in the communications and IT sectors. Her experience spans from start-ups to mature products across consumer, small business and enterprise sectors. She is chief executive of Callaghan Innovation, Chair of Statistics New Zealand, and Co-chair of Figure.NZ. A former managing director of Xero New Zealand, Victoria also held senior management roles in sales and marketing at Chorus and Telecom. She is a passionate kiwi and a member of NZ Global Women. Victoria holds a Master’s degree in Commerce and Administration (Marketing and Management) from Victoria University.

Elena Trout

Independent Non-Executive Director

Term of office: Appointed director 3 October 2016, last elected 2019 annual meeting.
Board committees: Chair of the Safety and Sustainability Committee, and Member of the Development Committee

 

Elena is an experienced company director and a professional engineer who has held a number of leadership positions in the transport, infrastructure and energy sectors. She has over 30 years of experience in the management, planning and delivery of large projects. She is the Chair of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and a director of Harrison Grierson Holdings Limited, Ngapuhi Asset Holdings Company Ltd and Motiti Investments Ltd. Her former directorships include Electricity Authority and Transpower New Zealand Limited. She is a Past-President of Engineering New Zealand with a membership status of Fellow and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors. Elena holds a Master's of Civil Engineering degree from Canterbury University.

Sandra Dodds

Independent Non-Executive Director

 
Term of office: Appointed director 1 September 2021
Board committees: Chair Audit and Risk Committee
 
Sandra Dodds is based in Melbourne and currently sits on the boards of Snowy Hydro Limited, Beca Group, OceanaGold corporation and MACA Limited. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a senior leader in complex infrastructure business in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Until recently Sandra led the infrastructure sector team at Broadspectrum. Sandra holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Otago and is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

David Smol

Independent Non-Executive Director

Term of office: Appointed director 1 October 2018, last elected 2018 annual meeting.
Board committees: Chair of the Development Committee, and a Member of the Safety and Sustainability Committee

 

David has over thirty five years of work experience, including in the energy sector in the UK and New Zealand, for Conoco UK Limited, Electricity Corporation and ILEX Energy Consulting. He was part of the Contact Energy establishment team in 1995-1996 and a member of the team that developed the rules for the New Zealand electricity market. In 2008 David was appointed as chief executive of Ministry of Economic Development and, from 2012-2017 was the inaugural chief executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), following the merger of four government departments. David is currently Chair of both the Capital & Coast, and Hutt Valley, District Health Boards. David has an M-Phil in economics from Cambridge University and was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 2018.

Jon Macdonald

Independent Non-Executive Director

Term of office: Appointment effective 1 November 2018, last elected 2018 annual meeting.
Board committees: Chair of the People Committee, and Member of the Development Committee

 

Jon was CEO for the Trade Me Group for 10 years. Prior to joining Trade Me, Jon worked in London for HSBC Investment Bank in a variety of technical and management positions, and has worked for Deloitte Consulting with a focus on telecommunications and financial services. Jon is also a director of Sharesies, and My Food Bag Group Ltd. Jon has a background in engineering and technology. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from the University of Canterbury.

Rukumoana Schaafhausen

Independent Non-Executive Director

Term of office: Appointed director 1 March 2021
Board committees: Member of the Audit and Risk Committee and Safety and Sustainability Committees

 

Rukumoana Schaafhausen is of Ngāti Haua descent and is based in Auckland.
She was recently the Chair of Waikato-Tainui and is currently serving across a number of Iwi, community, private and public organisations in governance roles including Water Governance Board, AgResearch, Miro Berries, Tindall Foundation, and The Princes Trust. Previously, she was a director at Genesis Energy and has received the Sir Peter Blake Award and the US embassy Wahine Toa Award for Leadership. Rukumoana is a commercial and property lawyer and holds a Bachelor’s in Law.

Meet our Leadership Team

Mike Fuge

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Fuge was appointed CEO in September 2019 and joined Contact in February 2020.

Mike was previously the chief executive of Refining NZ and has a long history in the energy sector, both in New Zealand and internationally. He has previously been the chief executive of global renewable energy owner operator and developer Pacific Hydro in Australia, and held senior roles at Genesis Energy and Royal Dutch Shell Group.

Jack Ariel

Major Projects Director

Jack Ariel was appointed to the newly created role of Major Projects Director in April 2021.

Jack returned to New Zealand to join Contact from Worley in the USA, where he led Chemical Infrastructure and Renewable Fuels Projects.

Jack has an extensive career in the Oil and Gas business with Royal Dutch Shell Group where he held several senior leadership roles in Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Project Delivery internationally and in New Zealand. During his career, Jack also gained experience in directorship roles in Chile and New Zealand.

Jack shares with the Leadership Team a passion for diversity of views and ideas and for the safety and wellbeing of our people.

Jan Bibby

Chief People and Transformation Officer

Jan Bibby was appointed Chief People Officer in November 2019. Jan joined Contact from Vodafone where she has held HR and Organisation Effectiveness roles both here in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Jan will be responsible for our People and Safety team looking after one of our biggest assets – our people. She is skilled at leading transformational change and developing and implementing people and culture strategies. Jan combines experience in both HR and commercial sales and marketing, which enables her to look at the business in a holistic manner and bring the commercial and financial aspects to bear on key organisational decisions.

Dorian Devers

Chief Financial Officer 

Dorian joined Contact in December 2018 as Contact’s Chief Financial Officer .  Dorian is experienced in business transformations having led successful turnarounds of businesses in both the UK and South Africa.  He has successfully delivered a number of acquisitions including ones in the Australian and New Zealand energy sector.  He has governance experience having served on the Board of Afrox a publicly listed company and the largest industrial gases business in Africa, as well as being a previous Board member of Liquigas a New Zealand LPG infrastructure business.

Jacqui Nelson

Chief Generation Officer

Jacqui has been with Contact for over 15 years taking the role of Chief Generation Officer in July 2020. As Chief Generation Officer she has responsibility for operations and energy market trading. Previously Jacqui has held a wide range of roles within Contact across finance, resource management, trading and most recently as General Manager of Operations.

Catherine Thompson

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and General Counsel

Catherine leads Contact’s communications, policy advocacy, legal and company secretarial functions and has executive responsibility for Contact’s Environmental, Governance and Social aspirations and activity. Catherine joined Contact in 2010 and was appointed to the Executive Leadership Team in 2014. Prior to joining Contact Catherine spent 10 years in London practising energy law both in private practice and in an in-house corporate environment.

Tighe Wall

Chief Digital Officer

Tighe joined Contact as Chief Digital Officer in February of 2020 and joined the Executive Leadership Team in September 2021.

Tighe joined Contact from E.ON SE in Germany where he led the group digital transformation programme. Prior to that he helped transform multi-nationals and large government agencies across Europe and the United States as a leader in IBM’s consulting organisation with a focus on user centred design and advanced analytics.