David Smales appointed as new AusNet CEO

The Board of AusNet today announced that David Smales has been appointed as the new AusNet CEO, commencing on 15 November 2023.

Current CEO Tony Narvaez had previously informed the Board of his intention to step down from the role so that he can spend more time with his family.

Mr Smales is an experienced CEO with deep industry knowledge, having led and managed regulated electricity transmission and distribution businesses, natural gas infrastructure assets, power generation, and energy services businesses. He has been the Chief Operating Officer of China Light and Power, based in Hong Kong, and was also the inaugural CEO of Energy Queensland Limited, which was formed out of the merger of Energex and Ergon in 2016. Most recently, he has been focused on advisory projects in the UK energy space.

AusNet Chair Jonathon Sellar said: “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Tony for his commitment and valuable contribution to AusNet. Under Tony’s leadership, AusNet has produced record safety results, delivered operational and financial outperformance and growth, and improved how we deliver for our customers, communities and key stakeholders. We are pleased to have appointed David Smales, an industry veteran with more than 40 years of technical, operational and corporate leadership experience, to lead AusNet through its next growth phase.”

Mr Narvaez said: “It has been a privilege to lead such a talented and dedicated organisation for the past four years. It feels like the right time to step down given the experienced leadership team that is now place and the completion of the transition to new ownership. I am proud of AusNet’s performance. It is a real credit to the team which is well positioned to deliver into the future.”

Mr Smales said: “I am thrilled to join AusNet and to continue its excellent work providing essential energy to Victorians and helping to achieve the energy transition. AusNet is well placed to continue to deliver future growth and contribute to Australia achieving its emissions-reduction targets in a sustainable and responsible way.”

Mr Narvaez will continue to be available for a period of time to support the Board and the new CEO to ensure an orderly and smooth transition.