Snowy Hydro has announced the appointment of Dennis Barnes as its new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, effective 1 February 2023.

Chairman David Knox said the Board was delighted to appoint Barnes to the role and is confident that he will continue to strengthen Snowy Hydro’s position as a leading integrated energy generator and retailer.

“We are thrilled to appoint someone of Dennis’ calibre and extensive energy sector experience to lead Snowy Hydro into the future,” Knox said. “Dennis has over three decades’ experience in the energy sector, with a focus on renewables and retail. His appointment brings a wealth of strategic knowledge and proven capability in delivering strong performance across large energy businesses at an exciting time for Snowy Hydro.”

Barnes was most recently CEO of ASX/NZX-listed Contact Energy, guiding the company through a period of significant change, including the separation from Australian majority shareholder Origin Energy and the completion of a NZ$2billion investment programme encompassing renewable generation and enterprise-wide systems.

Prior to this, Barnes also held several senior executive roles at Origin Energy, including as General Manager, Energy Risk Management and General Manager, Generation Operations; and he currently serves as a non-executive director of Tilt Renewables and Mercury NZ.

“I am excited about the prospect of working with the excellent team at Snowy Hydro, a truly iconic Australian business, at a complex and important time for our entire sector. I am also particularly looking forward to building strong connections with our stakeholders and the communities we serve and operate in, as we address the major issues our sector must focus on,” Barnes said.

The appointment follows a comprehensive local and international executive search process. Roger Whitby, who has been Acting Chief Executive Officer since August will resume his role as Chief Operating Officer.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Roger for his leadership, commitment and steady guidance during this period of transition for the company,” said Knox.