The Australian Energy Market Operator has named Nino Ficca, the former managing director of Victorian based network company Ausnet, to act as interim chief executive following the departure of current CEO Audrey Zibelman next month.
Ficca is already a board member of AEMO, and will fill the role as the market operator continues its search for a long term replacement for Zibelman, who surprised many with her decision to return to the US after nearly four years in the role to take up a position with X, the Google-owned technology moonshot play.
“The board is well progressed in the search for a new CEO and is delighted that Mr Ficca has agreed to step into the CEO role on an interim basis, pending the appointment and commencement of a new CEO,” AEMO chairman Drew Clarke said in a statement on Friday.
Ficca is an electrical engineer, and was managing director of AusNet Services and its predecessor businesses for 18 years until November last year. He has been also leading what appears to be a family-owned consulting business, Ficca Consulting, for the last year.
“The demands on AEMO will not slow during the CEO transition. Nino’s broad experience in the energy sector will enable him to maintain momentum on the critical initiatives underway until a new CEO is appointed,” Clarke said.
“While the Board is very sorry to see Audrey leave, under Nino’s guidance the important work of AEMO will continue smoothly.”
Ficca’s most recent activity on LinkedIn shows him applauding the recent awarding of the Victorian big battery contract to Neoen, and the advances made by Tilt on its connection issues with the Dundonnell wind farm. Both projects involve Ausnet as a partner in some form.