Gillingwater to take helm at utility

Smith steps down early as chairman of SSE

Lord SmithLord Smith of Kelvin is to step down as chairman and from the board of SSE earlier than planned after being appointed chairman of another major UK-listed company, IMI.

He will leave the board on 23 July after the annual general meeting and will be succeeded by deputy chairman Richard Gillingwater.

SSE expects to appoint a new non-Executive director and appoint a senior independent director in the next few months.

Lord Smith joined the board of SSE as a non-executive director in 2003 and became chairman in 2005. He will be retained by SSE’s executive committee for a further year to provide advice and counsel on key business issues relating to Scotland.

He said: “The period of transition that began with Richard’s appointment as deputy chairman at the start of the year is already going very well and bringing forward the handover to the AGM makes sense from everyone’s point of view.

“Over the coming months we will continue to work together on the key operational, market and financial issues facing SSE.  We are on course for a seamless transition and I am certain that Richard will be an excellent chairman of SSE.  I am also delighted that I will continue to be connected with the company for a further year.”

Mr Gillingwater joined the board as a non-executive director in 2007 and became senior independent director in 2012.

He is also chairman at Henderson Group. Earlier this month it was confirmed he would not be seeking re-election to the boards of Hiscox and Morrisons at their AGMs in May and June respectively.

He said: “Robert has been an outstanding chairman for SSE and a pleasure to work with and the executive committee will value the opportunity to be able to call on his advice and counsel on Scottish issues for a further year.

“I will spend the next few months completing the preparations for taking on the job as chairman and I am committed to doing all I can to ensure that SSE continues to be a successful company, for the benefit of investors and customers alike.”


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