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Engie ousts CEO to take ‘another step forward’ in transformation

Image: Engie.

Image: Engie.

Engie is on the hunt for a new chief executive after its board of directors elected not to reappoint incumbent Isabelle Kocher.

In a statement issued yesterday (6 February 2020) evening, Engie’s board said that it would not be proposing the reappointment of Kocher after her mandate expires in May. The board said it had reached the decision after concluding further development of its strategy “required a new leadership”.

It said the company needed to “take another step forward in its transformation” and to “deepen the strategy” it launched to place Engie at the forefront of the energy transition.

This strategy required a simplification of its organisation, to clarify strategic options and to boost its business model, particularly in renewables and client solutions, the firm said.

“Just as Engie wants to establish itself as a leading force in the energy transition, this essential enhancement will allow the group to clarify and strengthen its position relative to its different stakeholders, employees, clients and shareholders,” Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, chairman of the board at Engie, said.

Clamadieu and Françoise Malrieu, chair of the appointments, compensation and governance committee, have been tasked with finding the group’s replacement for Kocher. In the meantime, Claire Waysand, current EVP and general secretary at Engie, will take the reins as interim CEO, assisted by COO Paulo Almirante and CFO Judith Hartmann.

Engie has undergone a period of significant change in recent years as it looks to pivot to take advantage of the energy transition. In 2018 it reported strong organic growth on the back of its renewables and network divisions, before bolting on additional expertise through M&A activity involving flexibility aggregator KiWi Power and EV charging firm ChargePoint Services.

But last month the company conceded defeat in the UK energy retail market, selling its UK-facing supplier arm to Octopus Energy in a marked retreat from the notoriously difficult operating climate.

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