Names Karen S. Haller President and Chief Executive Officer; John P. Hester Retires
LAS VEGAS, May 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SWX) ("Southwest Gas" or the "Company") today announced that the Southwest Gas Board of Directors has appointed Karen S. Haller, Executive Vice President, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Ms. Haller succeeds John P. Hester, who has retired as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Hester has also resigned from the Board, effective immediately. Ms. Haller will be appointed to the Board of Directors immediately following the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
"Now is the time for new leadership at the Company," said Chairman of the Board, Michael J. Melarkey. "Karen has been a significant contributor to the Southwest Gas team and has strong relationships with our key stakeholders, including employees, regulators, customers and stockholders. We are confident that she is the right leader for Southwest Gas moving forward. We remain focused on delivering stockholder value as our Strategic Transactions Committee continues to complete its process to maximize value for all Southwest Gas stockholders."
Ms. Haller said, "It is a privilege to serve as President and CEO of Southwest Gas at such an important time for the Company. Our business will play a critical role in the energy transition across our service territories, while prioritizing safety, reliability and excellent customer service. Moving forward, I look forward to deepening the Company's relationships with our stockholders. I also want to thank our employees for the hard work they put in each and every day and our customers for their continued support of Southwest Gas."
Mr. Melarkey continued, "On behalf of the Board, we thank John for his many contributions during his years of service to the Company and the communities in which we operate. We wish him well for the future."
Mr. Hester said, "It has been an honor to be a part of Southwest Gas for more than 30 years and serving as CEO over the last eight years. I am proud of what we accomplished and strongly believe in the Southwest Gas team and the value of the business."
In a separate release issued today, Southwest Gas announced a settlement agreement with Carl Icahn.
About Karen S. Haller
Ms. Haller joined Southwest Gas in March 1997 and has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of the Company since May 2018. She previously served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Company from 2017 – 2018. She holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Wyoming and received her J.D. from Cornell Law School.
About Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.
Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas, and providing comprehensive utility infrastructure services across North America. Southwest Gas Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, safely and reliably delivers natural gas to over two million customers in Arizona, California and Nevada. The Company's MountainWest subsidiary provides natural gas storage and interstate pipeline services within the Rocky Mountain region. Centuri Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, is a strategic infrastructure services company that partners with regulated utilities to build and maintain the energy network that powers millions of homes and businesses across the United States and Canada.
How to Find Further Information
This communication does not constitute a solicitation of any vote or approval in connection with the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders of Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") (the "Annual Meeting"). In connection with the Annual Meeting, the Company has filed a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), which the Company has furnished to its stockholders in connection with the Annual Meeting. The Company may furnish additional materials in connection with the Annual Meeting. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, WE URGE STOCKHOLDERS TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND WHITE PROXY CARD AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WHEN SUCH INFORMATION IS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY, BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY AND THE ANNUAL MEETING. The proposals for the Annual Meeting are being made solely through the definitive proxy statement. In addition, a copy of the definitive proxy statement may be obtained free of charge from www.swgasholdings.com/proxymaterials. Security holders also may obtain, free of charge, copies of the proxy statement and any other documents filed by Company with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov, and at the Company's website at www.swgasholdings.com.
Important Information for Investors and Stockholders: This communication does not constitute an offer to buy or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities. In response to the tender offer for the shares of the Company commenced by IEP Utility Holdings LLC and Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P., the Company has filed a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 with the SEC. INVESTORS AND STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS ARE URGED TO READ THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and stockholders may obtain a free copy of these documents free of charge at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov, and at the Company's website at www.swgasholdings.com. In addition, copies of these materials may be requested from the Company's information agent, Innisfree M&A Incorporated, toll-free at (877) 825-8621.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") and the Company's expectations or intentions regarding the future. These forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of words such as "will", "predict", "continue", "forecast", "expect", "believe", "anticipate", "outlook", "could", "target", "project", "intend", "plan", "seek", "estimate", "should", "may" and "assume", as well as variations of such words and similar expressions referring to the future, and include (without limitation) statements regarding expectations with respect to a separation of Centuri, the future performance of Centuri, Southwest Gas's dividend ratios and Southwest Gas's future performance. A number of important factors affecting the business and financial results of the Company could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the timing and amount of rate relief, changes in rate design, customer growth rates, the effects of regulation/deregulation, tax reform and related regulatory decisions, the impacts of construction activity at Centuri, whether we will separate Centuri within the anticipated timeframe and the impact to our results of operations and financial position from the separation, the potential for, and the impact of, a credit rating downgrade, the costs to integrate MountainWest, future earnings trends, inflation, sufficiency of labor markets and similar resources, seasonal patterns, the cost and management attention of ongoing litigation that the Company is currently engaged in, the effects of the pending tender offer and proxy contest brought by Carl Icahn and his affiliates, and the impacts of stock market volatility. In addition, the Company can provide no assurance that its discussions about future operating margin, operating income, COLI earnings, interest expense, and capital expenditures of the natural gas distribution segment will occur. Likewise, the Company can provide no assurance that discussions regarding utility infrastructure services segment revenues, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue, and interest expense will transpire, nor assurance regarding acquisitions or their impacts, including management's plans or expectations related thereto, including with regard to Riggs Distler or MountainWest. Factors that could cause actual results to differ also include (without limitation) those discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's and Southwest Gas Corporation's current and periodic reports, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, filed from time to time with the SEC. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, even if subsequently made available by the Company on its Web site or otherwise. The Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.
Participants in the Solicitation: The directors and officers of the Company may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the Annual Meeting. Information regarding the Company's directors and officers and their respective interests in the Company by security holdings or otherwise is available in its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and the definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting. Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants is included in other relevant materials filed with the SEC.
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SOURCE Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.