Moller was appointed to the Meridian board in May 2009. “I am pleased to have been appointed to the position of Chairman and I am looking forward to working closely with directors, management and staff at Meridian to continue to build on the great legacy and history of the company,” he said.

Moller is also a director of NZX Ltd, Westpac New Zealand Ltd, Skycity Entertainment Group Ltd, and Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd, and chair of the New Zealand Transport Agency and New Zealand Cricket.

In his previous role as CEO of the New Zealand Rugby Union, Chris jointly led New Zealand’s successful bid to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He was a member of the council of the International Rugby Board, and CEO of SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) for two years. Before joining the NZRU, Moller held senior posts at the New Zealand Dairy Board, and was Deputy Chief Executive of Fonterra.

Moller paid tribute to the outgoing chair Wayne Boyd, noting the expertise and leadership Mr Boyd brought as chair of the company during his six years in the role.

“Wayne Boyd has made an outstanding contribution to Meridian and I know that he will be a hard act to follow,” added Mr Moller.

Moller will assume the role on 1 January 2011.

Ben Burge commenced his role as CEO of Australian operations on 30 November.

Meridian Energy Australia is a 50% joint venture partner with AGL in the $1 billion Macarthur wind farm, which is being developed in Victoria. It also owns the 70MW Mt Millar wind farm in South Australia. The company also expects to significantly grow its Australian portfolio.

“The appointment of a CEO for our Australian operations and creating a more formalised management structure is a timely step for our maturing business in Australia,” said Meridian Energy Australia Chairman Peter Lowe.

Lowe said the Board believed Mr Burge’s broad experience in both the energy sector and in strategic corporate development roles made him the ideal candidate for the position of CEO at Meridian Energy Australia.

Commenting on his appointment Burge said: “Meridian Energy Australia has a unique opportunity to be a leader in the Australian renewable energy sector. We already have operating assets in Australia as well as our commitment as a 50% JV partner in Australia’s largest wind farm at Macarthur. We expect to grow this significantly, supported by the commitment, environmental credentials and resources of our New Zealand parent company (Meridian Energy Limited).

“The progressively improving regulatory environment and increasing focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency will also create opportunities for innovative and nimble companies such as Meridian Energy Australia.”

Burge will join Meridian Energy Australia from IBM where he has worked as a partner in its Business Analytics and Optimisation business unit. Prior to IBM, Mr Burge was CEO and a partner at JT Campbell and Co, where he focused on energy sector clients and investments.