Katie Bickerstaffe has been appointed Chief Executive Designate of the new British energy supply and services company of innogy SE and Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE). Bickerstaffe comes from the European specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer Dixons Carphone plc, where she is currently Chief Executive, UK and Ireland. During the course of her career, Bickerstaffe has worked for renowned international consumer-focused corporations such as Dyson, PepsiCo and Unilever.
Bickerstaffe is the first person to be designated a member of the Board of the planned combined retail company. She will assume her new role later in the year and will head up the preparations for establishing the new retail company. The aim of the transaction is to merge innogy’s British retail business npower with SSE’s household energy and energy services business in Great Britain to form a major, independent British retail energy company. Both companies will continue as competitors on the energy market in Great Britain until the transaction has been closed.
Martin Herrmann, COO Retail at innogy: “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.“
Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO of SSE: “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.”
Katie Bickerstaffe: “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.”
The combined retail company will be listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange. It will not be controlled by either innogy or SSE: innogy will hold a minority stake of 34.4 per cent in the combined retail company. SSE will demerge its stake of 65.6 per cent to its shareholders upon completion of the transaction. The transaction is still subject to the approval of SSE’s shareholders, as well as approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities. Completion of the transaction and the listing of the new retail energy company are expected to occur in the last quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.