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ESB has confirmed the appointment of Pat O'Doherty as its new chief executive.

Mr O'Doherty, right, has worked with ESB since 1981 and is currently executive director of ESB Energy International.

He will be paid a salary of €318,000. The current CEO Padraig McManus, who is retiring, is being paid €500,000 down from €750,000 in 2009.

The biggest challenges facing the ESB will be the sale of the minority stake in the company and rebuilding its relationship with the Government, which has been eroded in recent years.