Mr. Farrell spent more than 15 years practicing law before joining Dominion Energy as general counsel in 1995. Over the next nine years, he served in several senior management positions at the company. He was named president and chief operating officer in 2004 and president and chief executive officer in 2006. He was elected chairman in 2007, a post he held until Thursday.
Dominion serves 7 million customers in 16 states and is a Fortune 500 company based in Richmond. According to published reports, Mr. Farrell’s total compensation in 2019 was more than $14 million.
The company said in its news release that Mr. Farrell helped lead the utility’s acquisition of Consolidated Natural Gas in 2000. In recent years, he also focused on building solar and wind energy facilities and working toward reducing carbon-based emissions.
In 2014, Dominion partnered with Charlotte-based Duke Energy to launch the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, a 600-mile natural gas pipeline designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina. The massive infrastructure project drew fierce opposition from many landowners, activists and environmental advocates, who said it would damage pristine landscapes and harm wildlife.
Dominion canceled the $8 billion project in July, as legal battles had mounted, construction fell behind schedule and the cost ballooned. Opponents questioned whether there was sufficient need for the gas it would carry and said it would further encourage the use of a fossil fuel at a time when climate change makes a shift to renewable energy imperative.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Mr. Farrell was a model for business leaders serving the community.
“He was devoted to his faith and family above all, and his quiet, calm work made Virginia better,” Northam said.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said Mr. Farrell had a profound influence in the city’s business and philanthropic circles.
“It’s hard to think of an individual who has had a greater impact on the growth and success of our city in the 21st century more than Tom Farrell,” Stoney said.
Mr. Farrell was born on the Japanese island of Okinawa, where his father was stationed in the military, and grew up in Fairfax County, Va. He received bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Farrell spent 15 years practicing law, first with Hunton & Williams and later with an Alexandria, Va., firm now called McGuire, Woods and Battle.
He also wrote and produced “The Field of Lost Shoes,” a 2015 film about Virginia Military Institute cadets fighting in the Civil War Battle of New Market.
Mr. Farrell had served as the chairman of Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris USA. He was also chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s board of trustees and was a member of the boards of visitors at the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University. He also served as a member of the board of trustees at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Survivors include his wife, Anne Garland Tullidge Farrell; two sons, Peter Farrell, a former Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and Stuart Farrell; and grandchildren.