Daniel Westerman appointed new AEMO CEO

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has appointed US-based Australian engineer Daniel Westerman as its new CEO and managing director.

Westerman, who is the chief transformation officer at international utility National Grid, will replace Nino Ficca who has been acting CEO following the departure of Audrey Zibelman in December.

At National Grid, Westerman managed the electricity network across England and Wales and has led transformation and change programs across multiple business units and geographies.

Daniel Westerman. Image credit: AEMO

In statement on the company website, AEMO chairman Drew Clarke, said the board was pleased the search process attracted strong interest from high calibre energy leaders, both in Australia and globally.

“Daniel was selected from a strong field of leaders in the energy sector, and the board is confident his experience positions him well to lead AEMO through the next phase of transition in the energy sector,” he said.

“Experience in a commercial setting was highly valued in AEMO’s search, and the board was pleased to secure a candidate with experience leading major infrastructure projects through the investment cycle.”

Energy minister Angus Taylor said Westerman’s significant commercial and regulatory experience in both the United Kingdom and the United States means he is well-positioned to lead a key market institution like AEMO.

“I welcome Mr Westerman’s appointment and look forward to working with him to progress important energy market reforms,” he said.

Westerman’s ongoing appointment will commence on 17 May 2021.

Ficca will return to his role as non-executive managing director when Westerman begins in May.