Australia’s leading Utilities partner, Downer, has announced several new appointments to its Utilities Executive Leadership Team.

James Kafanelis has recently stepped into the role of Head of Utilities, following six years as Executive General Manger of Downer’s Utilities business in New Zealand.

Mr Kafanelis is credited with establishing Downer’s Power and Gas Line of Business in New Zealand. During his tenure, Mr Kafanelis also created Downer New Zealand’s Utilities Business Unit and later added the Spotless team to his portfolio, forming Facilities Services and Utilities.

Mr Kafanelis’ appointment to the role of Head of Utilities and return to his hometown of Melbourne sends a clear signal that Downer is ready to expand its presence in the Australian Utilities space.

“It’s an exciting time, given the significant spend currently occurring across all sectors of Utilities,” Mr Kafanelis said.

“Downer’s Utilities portfolio is well diversified across Water, Telco, Renewable Energy, Metering Services, Power and Gas, providing the stable foundation to capitalise on growth opportunities in the short to medium term.

“To help us to realise our future goals, I am pleased to welcome a number of new faces to our Utilities senior executive.”

Senior Australian infrastructure leaders, Tino Dal Negro and Marco Lupacchini, are recent additions to the Utilities Executive Leadership team.

Mr Dal Negro, who has been appointed to the role of General Manager, New Business and Commercial, has previously held senior roles within Downer’s Facilities and Asset Service Business Unit, where he was primarily focused on commercial and risk management.

Mr Lupacchini, who joins Downer Utilities from Greencap where he was National Operations Director, has been appointed to the newly created role of General Manager, Strategy and Performance.

Additionally, Chris Yeats has recently stepped into the new role of General Manager, Water. Mr Yeats’ promotion highlights Downer’s ‘One Water’ approach, with Mr Yeats and his team ready to leverage Downer’s scale in the Water space.

Mr Kafanelis said the two new executive appointments and the realignment of Downer’s Water Business Unit have come at a strategically important time for Downer.

“Chris and his team are ready to leverage our end-to-end capability in the Water space, cementing Downer’s position as Australia’s leading provider of outsourced water services,” Mr Kafanelis said.

“Both Mr Dal Negro and Mr Lupacchini have extensive leadership experience involving projects and contracts worth billions of dollars. This will be critical as they deliver competitive and commercially effective strategic frameworks in order to realise our growth ambitions and continue to partner with our customers in connecting people and their communities.”

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Downer. For more information, visit


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