Leadership team

Richard Gross – Chief Executive Officer

As CEO of Ausgrid, Richard Gross brings a unique 360 degree perspective of the energy sector, its infrastructure and the regulatory environment. His track record includes managing industry acquisitions and mergers, advising on and implementing regulatory strategies, leading high-performance teams and championing the interests of both providers and consumers in a rapidly changing environment.

Richard has successfully led major business transitions, including integrating billion-dollar businesses. He is both a leader and trusted advisor in the operation of utilities, with decades of experience in asset management, asset risk management, valuation drivers, market dynamics and acquisitions. He has a reputation for building and managing strong professional teams while providing the direction and support needed to implement competitive commercial strategies.

Mr Gross holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Graduate Diploma of Agricultural Economics, as well as a Masters of Commerce in Economics and Finance. He attended the Harvard Advanced Management Program in 2011.

Trevor Armstrong - Acting Chief Executive Officer Trevor Armstrong – Chief Operating Officer
Over the past three decades Trevor has worked across all facets of Ausgrid’s operations and has in-depth knowledge of the network’s planning, systems and business strategies. As a leader he is focused on serving customers by delivering a safe and reliable supply of power and providing good service that is affordable and efficient. As Chief Operating Officer Trevor is working to promote productivity and innovation and realise value by sustainably managing Australia’s largest regulated electricity network asset base to ensure a commercial return for our shareholders.

Trevor has a Bachelor of Engineering and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the INSEAD Advanced Management Program. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, the Treasurer of Cigre Australia and a member of the Australian Energy Market Commission’s Reliability Panel.

Russell Houlahan - General Manager, Network Services Russell Houlahan – General Manager, Field Services
Russell has more than 30 years’ experience in senior executive and operation leadership roles in the utilities sector. Joining Ausgrid from Downer EDI in 2016, he brings significant capability in construction and maintenance of power generation, electricity transmission and distribution, and telecommunications infrastructure. Russell has a track record in leading change and optimising operations to increase efficiency and improve safety outcomes. At Ausgrid, he is responsible for delivering capital and maintenance programs and managing network connections, transmission services and system control.

Russell has an electrical trades and engineering background and a Masters in Business Administration.

Pamela Henderson - General Manager, Customer Service Pamela Henderson – General Manager, Customer
In her 25 years with the business, Pamela has built up a detailed understanding of Ausgrid’s engineering systems and business and customer strategies. As Chief Engineer she delivered engineering reform strategies to improve technical and customer outcomes. She now leads our customer and corporate services teams in supporting frontline service delivery and providing solutions in the areas that underpin our core business, including customer service, ICT, procurement and logistics, and property and fleet.

Pamela has a bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

Kirsten Watson - General Manager Safey, HR and the Environment Kirsten Watson – Executive General Manager, People and Safety
Kirsten’s career spans the private and public sectors with a focus on leading change. She specialises in driving business-wide transformation programs that align organisations and their people with key goals and priorities. She joined Ausgrid in 2015 to help build organisational strength through our people, safety and environmental specialists, and deliver a safe and sustainable workforce plan.

Kirsten has a Bachelor of Business majoring in organisational communications, a Graduate Certificate in change management and an Executive Masters in Public Administration.

Joe PIzzinga - Chief Financial Officer Joseph Pizzinga – Chief Financial Officer
Joe has worked in the energy industry for more than 25 years leading corporate financial governance across a number of energy businesses. He has held CFO roles at Integral Energy, Endeavour Energy, Networks NSW and was appointed to the CFO role at Ausgrid in 2012. Joe has experience in leading corporate restructuring, M&A, business transformation, energy regulation and energy trading.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Business Degree in Accounting and Law and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. He has also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

 Lisa Maffina - Company Secretary Lisa Maffina – Executive General Manager, Legal and Company Secretary
Lisa joined the business in its internal audit section in 1993 and has worked in a number of senior positions focused on governance, controls, compliance and risk. In 2003 she was appointed as Corporate Secretary and played a key role in the sale of the retail assets. Lisa also served as Board Secretary for Networks NSW from 2012, helping to manage the transition to a joint entity and its disestablishment in 2015. She now oversees Ausgrid’s legal services, internal audit, governance, risk and compliance areas, and the delivery of the long-term partial lease transaction.

Lisa has a degree in Business Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Management, a Diploma of Secretarial Practice and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sam Sofi - GM Asset Management and Operations Sam Sofi – General Manager, Asset Management and Operations
Sam has more than 22 years experience in the industry, most recently working at Ausgrid for the last 18 years in a variety of roles covering External Business, Project Delivery, Transmission, System Control and Transformation. He has also held previous roles in Rockwell Automation mostly in the area of Control Systems. He is an Electrical Engineer, also holding a Masters Degree in Accounting, Finance and Engineering Management.