“After an extensive selection process, the board is very pleased to announce Rob Wheals as APA’s new CEO,” APA chairman Michael Fraser said.
“Rob is a strategic thinker with ‘hands-on’ operating experience and a strong track record in delivering results. The appointment of an internal candidate is testament to the quality of APA’s senior leadership team.”
Mr Wheals had previously been named by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age as one of the most likely replacements for Mr McCormack.
Mr McCormack said Mr Wheals had “the right mix of smarts, integrity and humility to lead the APA team”.
“I am very pleased to be able to hand over the reins to Rob as an internal appointment,” Mr McCormack said.
Mr McCormack had announced his intention to retire at the end of 2018.
He said he had planned to retire earlier but a $13 billion takeover bid from Hong Kong-based utility and infrastructure firm CKI, a major rival, had “got in the way”.
While APA had supported the offer, the takeover bid was blocked by the federal government over concerns it would have given CKI a gas pipeline monopoly in Australia.
In early trade on Monday, APA shares are up 0.2 per cent at $10.23.
Covering energy and policy at Fairfax Media.