SSE and Innogy have appointed Martin Read as chairman designate for the new supplier they have agreed to form by merging SSE’s retail arm and Npower.

He will take up the post on 1 October 2018 and will lead the recruitment of the remaining board members for the new business.

The two companies have already appointed Katie Bickerstaffe as chief executive designate and Gordon Boyd as chief financial officer designate. They said, like Bickerstaffe and Boyd, Read will have no involvement in the running of either of the existing organisations.

Read is currently chairman of logistics company Wincanton and the government’s Senior Salaries Review Body.

He will be stepping down as chairman of the Low Carbon Contracts Company and the Electricity Settlements Company – the bodies responsible for the administration of contracts for difference and capacity market contracts – on 30 September 2018, and as chairman of the Renumeration Consultants Group prior to the formation and listing of the new supplier.

Roles previously held by Read include chief executive of IT services company Logica, in which he oversaw its merger with CMG in 2002, and chairman of electronics and technology firm Laird. He has also served as non-executive director on the boards of Lloyd’s, Invensys, Aegis Group, British Airways, Boots and Asda.

Commenting on the appointment, SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies 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.”

Chief operating officer for retail at Innogy, Martin Herrmann, 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.”

Martin Read 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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