Trustpower's Vince Hawksworth is to replace Fraser Whineray as chief executive of Mercury NZ.
Hawksworth will start in his new role in April, replacing Whineray who is taking up a new role of chief operating officer at Fonterra toward the end of the March quarter.
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Mercury chair Prue Flacks said Hawksworth's background in renewable energy in Australia and New Zealand will help Mercury maintain the "considerable momentum" it has established.
"Vince's deep experience in the energy sector in New Zealand and Australia, covering generation and retail, positions him well to lead Mercury through its next phase as we add wind generation into our renewable energy portfolio."
Hawksworth, originally a mining engineer, held senior roles at ECNZ and then Genesis Energy before becoming chief executive of Hydro Tasmania in 2006. He joined Trustpower as chief executive in May 2010.
During his time at Trustpower the firm expanded into gas, built the Mahinerangi wind farm near Dunedin, and launched into broadband. It consented the Waipipi wind farm now being developed by Tilt Renewables, which was split out of Trustpower in 2016.
Trustpower chair Paul Ridley-Smith commended Hawksworth for the significant change he had delivered for Trustpower shareholders, customers and employees.
"Vince led the growth of the Australian renewables business that resulted in the successful demerger of Tilt Renewables. He led the repositioning of the retail business, re-branding and entering the telecommunications market to create New Zealand's leading multi-product utility.
"Vince has focused on capability and people development and leaves the company with a strong platform for continued success."
David Prentice, former managing director of Opus International and a Trustpower director since August, will act as interim chief executive for up to 12 months. He will remain on the board. Most recently he chaired the Interim Climate Change Committee.
"David has quickly understood Trustpower's purpose and strategy and looks forward to leading Trustpower's continued success," Ridley-Smith said.
"He is a values-driven leader and an experienced, commercially driven executive. We are pleased that David has been able to take up this role at relatively short notice and look forward to working with him in this new capacity."
Trustpower shares closed yesterday at $7.25, having gained 20.3 per cent so far this year, while Mecury shares closed at $4.795, up 31.6 per cent this year.