SSE-nPower deal on target

Bickerstaffe to take helm of new energy company

Katie Bickerstaffe

Katie Bickerstaffe: ‘The sector is undergoing an exciting transformation’

Katie Bickerstaffe will become the first female chief executive of a major energy company when she takes the helm of the new independent supply and services company being formed by SSE and nPower.

Ms Bickerstaffe, CEO of high street retailer Dixons Carphone and a non-executive director of SSE, is the first appointment to the board of the new company.

She will take up her new appointment this year and will lead the work being done to prepare for the formation and listing of the new company, expected to take place in the last quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.

Her role during that period will not include any involvement in the leadership or management of either existing organisation.

She has been an executive director of Dixons Carphone since it was formed in 2014 and has been chief executive, UK and Ireland for the business since 2015, having joined Dixons in 2008 and been a member of its Board since 2012.

She has other substantive and diverse retail experience gained with Kwik Save, Somerfield, Dyson, PepsiCo and Unilever. 

Ms Bickerstaffe will step down from her position as a non-executive director of SSE on 30 April.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: Katie has excellent credentials in retail, extensive experience of organisational change and recent insight derived from merging two companies into one.

“She will therefore bring to the role of chief executive a strong customer focus and enormous capacity to unlock the great potential that exists in combining the experience and insight of two established players with the focus and agility of a new, independent company.

“Having served on the board of SSE she also has excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities of the retail energy market in Great Britain.

“Her appointment is another important milestone and reinforces the commitment from both SSE and innogy to completing the transaction and setting the new company up for success.” 

Martin Hermann, chief operating officer retail, at Innogy, said: “We are right on schedule with our preparations for the new combined retail company.

“And our decision as to who will take up the CEO position is a really positive sign of the progress we are making.

“Katie has outstanding experience in retail and she knows the particular challenges the British energy business presents. She knows how to lead a truly customer-focused company that satisfies customers, employees and shareholders.

“These are the most vital elements needed to make a long-term success of the new company we plan to set up.”

Ms Bickerstaffe said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead this new energy supply and services company at a time when the sector is undergoing an exciting transformation. 

“There is a great opportunity to create a more agile, innovative and efficient company that really delivers for customers. 

“Over the coming months, I want to listen to as many customers, employees and other stakeholders as possible to make sure this new company has the values, strategy and focus that customers need now and in the future. 

“As we plan the new company, every decision we make must be about doing the right thing for all our stakeholders.”


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