Hawksworth to retire, Stew Hamilton appointed new CEO of Mercury NZ

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Mercury NZ Limited’s board has announced the upcoming retirement of Vince Hawksworth, the company’s Chief Executive, effective August 31, 2024.

Stew Hamilton, currently serving as the Executive General Manager Generation, is set to take over the helm as the new Chief Executive.

Vince Hawksworth, who has been at the forefront of Mercury since March 2020, will be stepping down after a tenure marked by substantial growth and strategic acquisitions. Under his leadership, Mercury saw the completion of the Turitea Wind Farm and the successful integration of Tilt Renewables’ New Zealand assets and Trustpower’s retail business into its portfolio. These milestones have positioned Mercury as a frontrunner in New Zealand’s electrification efforts.

Stew Hamilton, the appointed successor, has been instrumental in managing Mercury’s diverse energy assets, including hydro, geothermal, and wind operations. His prior experience as the Chief Executive and General Manager at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd has honed his expertise in leading complex organizations.

Scott St John, Chair of Mercury, praised Hawksworth’s exceptional leadership, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and his role in fostering the company’s growth and culture. The board’s unanimous decision to appoint Hamilton reflects their confidence in his capabilities and the depth of talent within Mercury.

Hamilton is recognized for enhancing the resilience and safety of Mercury’s generating assets and spearheading the hydro refurbishment program and the expansion of the Ngā Tamariki geothermal station. His vision aligns with Mercury’s growth trajectory and the nation’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions.

During the transition period, Hawksworth will work closely with Hamilton to ensure a smooth handover of leadership responsibilities. St John expressed gratitude for Hawksworth’s nearly three-decade-long contribution to Mercury and the broader energy sector.

Stew Hamilton’s extensive background includes leadership roles at Mercury NZ Limited, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd, and Acacia Mining’s Buzwagi Gold Mine in Tanzania. His academic credentials include an Advanced Management Programme from INSEAD, an Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School, and a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours in Chemical and Materials.

The energy sector in New Zealand stands on the cusp of a new era, with Mercury poised to continue its impressive growth under Stew Hamilton’s leadership.

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