Solid Energy chairman Mark Ford is stepping down from the chairmanship because of ill health.
Ford will remain on the coalminer's board as a director.
At the same time the troubled state-owned firm appears no closer to appointing a new chief executive a year after controversial boss Don Elder stepped down. The company was seeking a chief financial officer in late January.
State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, said: "In accordance with the company's constitution, the deputy chair, Pip Dunphy will act as chair in Mr Ford's absence."
Ford remains chief executive of Watercare Services in Auckland, which supplies the city's water and wastewater services.
A spokeswoman for Solid Energy said while it was still looking for a suitable chief executive it had stopped advertising.
"They have headhunters on the job", she said.
Interim chief executive is Garry Diack who has been in the job for a year.
Dunphy said through a spokeswoman that there was nothing to report on the search for a new chief executive.
Diack said Solid Energy's board wanted an experienced miner as its chief executive. He was not a miner but a corporate strategy and restructuring specialist.
- Fairfax Media