Gas company CEO resigns
Jim Yates is leaving at the end of August for another energy firm
Jim Yates, president and chief executive of the Gas Co., is leaving the company at the end of the month to head another local energy-related firm.
Yates, who has been with the Gas Co. since 1995, said he is currently barred from disclosing the name of the company, but will have an ownership interest in the new firm. In addition, he will serve on the Gas Co.'s board of directors.
"It's an opportunity for me to do something different and have an ownership interest in the company I'll be working for," said Yates, 47. "This opportunity just became available and it fit a career goal -- the timing was really dictated by the opportunity."
Tom Wellman, the Gas Co.'s chief financial officer, will serve as interim president and CEO effective Sept. 1, until a new top executive is chosen.
Macquarie Infrastructure Co., the Gas Co.'s New York-based parent company, has hired a local search firm to find a replacement.
Yates has worked in the energy industry since 1980.
Before joining the Gas Co., he held a number of positions in oil and gas exploration and production with BHP Petroleum in Oklahoma City and Houston.
In 1989, BHP purchased Pacific Resources Inc., which owned what is now the Tesoro Corp. refinery, gas stations and gas company.
Yates moved to Hawaii in 1993 as vice president of corporate development of BHP Hawaii. He became vice president and general manager of the Gas Co. in 1995 and later became head of the Hawaii Energy division of Citizens Utilities Co., overseeing both the Gas Co. and Kauai Electric.
He became president and CEO in 2003 when the company was sold to k1 Ventures Ltd. He now oversees 315 employees in the company, which recorded gross revenue of $155 million last year.
"We are saddened by his departure but grateful that we will continue to receive the benefit of Jim's business experience and ties to the community as he serves on the Gas Co.'s board," Wellman said.
The Gas Co., which has been the state's only full-service energy company for more than 100 years, provides gas and energy-related services to 67,000 commercial and residential customers statewide.