RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Thomas Farrell II, who led Dominion Energy for more than a decade and was a powerful force in Virginia business and politics, has died.
His passing Friday occurred one day after he stepped down from his post as the company’s executive chairman. He was 66.
A news release from the company said Farrell had been battling cancer, which took a “sudden turn” in recent weeks.
Farrell practiced law for 15 years before he joined Dominion Energy as general counsel in 1995. He served as the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer from 2007 to 2020.
Farrell’s brother-in-law Richard Cullen called his death “an incredible loss of a remarkable man.”
“Over his years as chairman, Tom shaped the board in his image – strong and able with a keen eye on ethical behavior, diversity and inclusion, public and community service and innovation,” said Spilman, who was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009, in a prepared statement in the company news release. “The Commonwealth of Virginia has lost a kind soul who was abundantly generous to nonprofits supporting the arts and culture, education and critical community needs.”
Farrell worked to decrease Dominion’s OSHA recordable injury rate, which feel 78% between 2006 and 2020, Dominion said. He also was proud of the initiative to hire veterans.
Farrell also served as chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s board of trustees, was appointed to the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University. He was also a member of the board of trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a Council on Foreign Relations independent task force.
Dominion serves 7 million customers in 16 states and is a Fortune 500 company based in Richmond, Virginia.
After Dominion announced Farrell’s death, several Virginia leaders released statements honoring the community and business leader.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.)
“Pam and I are saddened by the passing of Tom Farrell, who set the standard for business leaders serving the community. He was devoted to his faith and family above all, and his quiet, calm work made Virginia better. My thoughts are with Anne, Peter, Stuart, and all who loved him.“
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
“My heart goes out to Tom Farrell’s family. He had a major influence on Richmond, our Commonwealth, and his beloved UVA. He passed today after a brave fight with cancer.”
Former Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights)
“I am stunned to hear of Tom’s passing. I have had the honor of knowing him for many years, and my respect for him almost cannot be put into words. He was a dynamic individual who excelled at so many business, educational, and philanthropic endeavors. Most recently, we served together on the Board of GO Virginia, where I saw not only his leadership ability, but also how much his peers in the business community respected him.
“We developed a friendship and I came to rely on Tom for his sound advice, no matter the topic. He was always straightforward and insightful. Like so many others, I trusted him immensely.
“My prayers are with his family, Anne, Peter and Stuart, their spouses, and his grandchildren. I know that Tom’s faith, and their own, will guide them through this difficult time.”
Red Cross Virginia Region
“Our deepest condolences to the @DominionEnergy family tonight on the loss of their former CEO, Tom Farrell. Tom was a friend to @RedCross and to all those we served across the community. We send our thoughts to his family, friends and all those who he impacted through his life.”
Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives
“Tom Farrell was an important business partner to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and provided forward-thinking leadership to Dominion Energy while serving as CEO. He will be missed by his colleagues in the electric utility industry,” said Marcus Harris, CEO of ODEC.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our colleague, Tom Farrell. Tom was a valued partner to the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives during his lengthy tenure as CEO of Dominion Energy. He will be greatly missed. My prayers are with the entire Farrell family during this difficult time,” said Brian Mosier, CEO of VMDAEC.