Jenny Shipley to step down as Genesis chair in October, succeeded by Barbara Chapman

Jenny Shipley will step down as Genesis Energy chair after this year's annual meeting in October. Photo: John Sefton

Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley will step down as Genesis Energy chair after this year's annual meeting in October, and be succeeded by ex-ASB Bank chief executive Barbara Chapman.

Shipley, who is among former Mainzeal directors facing a civil suit from unpaid creditors of the failed construction firm, will end a nine-year spell as chair of the electricity generator-retailer. During that time, she ushered it from a pure State-owned enterprise to one of three partially privatised and listed companies under the mixed ownership model of the previous administration.

Chapman joined the board earlier this year as she transitions into a new career as a professional director, having led ASB for six years. Her appointment to the Genesis board name-checked her skills in disruptive innovation, marketing, digital transformation, consumer technologies and driving leading brands.

"Barbara represents the next generation of leadership required in the energy sector and has the skills and experience to provide the step-change required at this point in the company’s transformation," Shipley said in a statement. "Barbara brings a wide range of experience around product and market innovation and is widely recognised for her strong leadership style, her commercial credentials and her commitment to diversity."

Under Shipley's watch, Genesis shares have climbed to $2.515 from the $1.55 initial public offering price in April 2014, a 62 percent increase and just lagging behind a 73 percent gain on the S&P/NZX 50 index over the same period.

Shipley said highlights of her tenure included the acquisition of the Tekapo hydro assets, a better relationship with iwi, and the transition from an SOE into a partially privatised and listed company.

"Having also managed the transition between CEOs and having oversight of two recent important M&A transactions in 2016 and 2017, I feel I am leaving the business strongly positioned for future success," she said. "I am also confident the board and management are well positioned to tackle market challenges going forward."