EGP's Starace picked as Enel CEO

Enel Green Power CEO Francesco Starace is in line to take the top job at parent group Enel – Italy’s biggest utility – after being nominated by the country’s government.

Italy’s Treasury named Starace as successor to incumbent Enel CEO Fulvio Conti, as part of a raft of changes to business leaders in major companies where the state holds major stakes and has the power to choose the top posts.

Starace – a Recharge Thought Leader – has steered EGP to become one of the world’s most significant renewables developers since it was created as a stand-alone entity in 2008, first as president and since 2010 as CEO.

He won plaudits for successfully listing EGP in November 2010, bucking the trend that saw the renewables units of other major European utilities fall out of favour with stock markets and retreat back to their parents.

EGP’s strategy has been based on diversity – of technology and geography – and it now has 8.9GW of capacity in 16 countries.

Starace recently unveiled a five-year strategy for EGP that aims to add 4.6GW by 2018 – investing €6.1bn ($8.4bn) in the process – with a heavy emphasis on emerging markets.

Starace, a nuclear engineer by training, has worked for GE, ABB and Alstom, as well as holding senior posts in Enel.

His appointment still has to be formally endorsed by shareholders at the Enel’s annual meeting in late May.