NTR boss Michael McNicholas has been named the new chief executive of Bord Gais. He'll take up the role in June.
Last month, New Era, the state agency charged with handling sales of state assets, appointed A&L Goodbody to act as legal adviser on the sale of Bord Gais Energy.
The sale of Bord Gais Energy is expected to attract bids of between €1bn and €1.5bn. That unit of the energy firm is its retail arm. Bord Gais Networks owns gas distribution pipelines.
Mr McNicholas succeeds John Mullins, who left the company last year. He's being appointed for a seven-year term.
Bord Gais group chief financial officer, Michael O'Sullivan, and Bord Gais Energy boss Dave Kirwan had both been tipped for the Bord Gais chief executive role.
The Government had insisted that the €250,000 public service pay cap wouldn't be breached to lure a new chief executive to Bord Gais. Mr Mullins had been earning almost €400,000 in 2010, which fell in line with the cap.
Last month, Bord Gais announced that Dublin City Council city manager John Tierney has been appointed managing director of the newly established Irish Water utility. It has been set up as part of Bord Gais.
Mr McNicholas was named chief executive of NTR – which owns the Greenstar waste business and whose former assets included Airtricity and the West Link toll bridge in Dublin – in 2011. He had joined the business in 2010.
He is also a former boss of ESB International. Since he joined NTR he has devoted his time to restructuring the company, which had seen some of its investments sour.
The group shouldered massive writedowns that prompted it to notch up a loss of €381m in its 2011 financial year – one of the largest losses ever recorded in Ireland outside the banking sector. "The last three years in NTR have been challenging but immensely enjoyable," said Mr McNicholas.
NTR chairman Tom Roche said a successor would be announced "in due course" and thanked Mr McNicholas for his contribution to the company.
Between them, Bord Gais and Irish Water are expected to have assets amounting to as much as €20bn.