State-owned power generator Verve Energy has replaced its boss internally, appointing Jason Waters as its new chief executive.

Mr Waters replaces former managing director Shirley In't Veld, who will leave the utility on April 30 after five years, amid criticism of her high pay and the performance of the utility.

The state government froze Ms In't Veld's $475,000 salary and scrapped cash bonuses for her and other power utility executives in 2010 after Verve ran up a $1 billion debt following its spin-off from Western Power in 2006.

Verve returned to profit only in the past financial year.

Before his appointment was announced today, Mr Waters was Verve's general manager of trading and fuel.

Chairman David Eiszele said the Verve Energy Board was comfortable making an internal appointment to the position because of the quality of the candidates available from within the organisation.

“Jason is very well credentialed to continue the revitalisation of Verve Energy after the organisations difficult early years following the separation of the old Western Power,” he said.

“He will focus on ensuring Verve Energy has the right and reliable plant, secure fuel supplies and the right people to manage the challenges ahead.”

Mr Waters initial contract will run for two years.