Swiss power company BKW has appointed Dr Suzanne Thoma as its new chief executive.

From 1 January 2013 she will take over the role from Kurt Rohrbach, who was elected as full-time second vice-chairman at the company’s annual general meeting.

Thoma has been head of the networks division and a member of the group executive board since 2010 at BKW, which operates Muhleberg nuclear power station, seven hydroelectricity plants and several wind and solar farms.

Thoma studied chemical engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, graduating with a Masters in Science and a Doctorate in Engineering, with post-graduate studies in business administration.

Rohrbach is also president of the Association of Swiss Electricity Companies.