SSE plc appoint Dr Martin Read CBE as Chairman Designate for the new independent British energy supply


SSE plc (LON:SSE) and innogy SE (innogy) have appointed Dr Martin Read CBE as Chairman Designate for the new independent British energy supply and services company they have agreed to form, subject to final regulatory approval. His appointment follows a comprehensive selection process facilitated by a leading executive search company.

Martin will lead the Board of the new company, working closely with Chief Executive Designate Katie Bickerstaffe, Chief Financial Officer Designate, Gordon Boyd, and other recently appointed members of the Executive Committee Designate. He will take up his new role on 1 October 2018 and, working with an external executive search company, will lead on recruiting the Board for the new business. Like Katie and Gordon, Martin will have no involvement in the leadership or management of either existing organisation. Both SSE and innogy consider Martin to be independent on appointment, as per the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code.

Meanwhile, work continues to plan and prepare for the formation and listing of the new company, which remains on course to take place by the end of Q1 2019, following SSE shareholder approval for the transaction and the appointment of the Executive Committee Designate in July. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally cleared the transaction in August and is due to publish its final decision by 22 October.

Martin brings significant experience of Board-level leadership, including in high-profile, consumer-facing sectors. He is Chairman of Wincanton plc and the UK Government’s Senior Salaries Review Body. Martin will be standing down as Chairman of the Low Carbon Contracts Company and of the Electricity Settlements Company on 30 September 2018, and will also step down as Chairman of the Remuneration Consultants Group in advance of the anticipated formation and listing of the new company.

He is a former Chairman of Laird Plc and from 1993 to 2007 was Chief Executive of international IT services company Logica, where he oversaw a period of major growth and led the merger with CMG in 2002, which doubled the company’s then-size. He has served as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of Lloyd’s, Invensys, Aegis Group, British Airways, Boots, Asda and the UK Government Efficiency and Reform Board.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE plc, said:

“We are delighted to appoint Martin as Chairman Designate in what is another important milestone on the journey to establishing a new, independent player in the British energy supply and services market. Martin’s experience from executive and non-executive roles across a range of sectors, including mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings, will be invaluable in establishing the new Board and ensuring the business is ready to hit the ground running. We continue to believe that the combination of the two companies as an independent player can deliver real benefits to customers and the wider energy market and the appointment of such a high-calibre Chairman is further evidence of this.”

Martin Herrman, Chief Operating Officer Retail at innogy SE, said:

“Since we announced our plans to create a new British retail energy company to combine the best both of what npower and SSE’s British energy supply and services businesses have to offer we have kept on schedule. Read’s confirmation as Chairman Designate, with the impressive experience and credentials he brings to the role, complements the designated board appointments for the new company. After the provisional clearance by the CMA, the preparation for the formation and listing of this new British retail energy company achieved another important milestone.”

Dr Martin Read CBE said:

“This is a time of major change in the energy and services market in Britain and I believe that in forming this new company we have a unique and exciting opportunity to challenge the sector and deliver for customers and shareholders alike. I’m delighted to be appointed and look forward to working with Katie, Gordon and the rest of the management team to realise this opportunity.”

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