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National Grid and SSE see top staff shakeup

Paula Rosput Reynolds announced as new chair of National Grid. Image: National Grid.

Paula Rosput Reynolds announced as new chair of National Grid. Image: National Grid.

National Grid welcomes first female chair Paula Rosput Reynolds

National Grid has announced that Paula Rosput Reynolds will succeed Sir Peter Gershon as chair, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

Reynolds will join the Board on 1 January 2021 as non-executive director and chair designate, before assuming the role of chair no later than the conclusion of the 2021 Annual General Meeting. This will allow her a transitionary period while Gershon remains as chair.

Mark Williamson, senior independent director of National Grid led the search for Greshon’s replacement after he announced his intention to step down on 30 January 2020.

“Today's announcement is the culmination of a succession planning process which we initiated last year,” said Williamson. “I am delighted that our thorough search process has resulted in Paula’s selection as our next Chair.

“Paula has a highly successful track record as a chief executive across the energy and insurance industries and has over 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director in both the UK and US across multiple sectors and businesses.”

Rosput Reynolds is non-executive director at General Electric Company in the US and senior independent direct at BP where she chairs the Remuneration Committee currently. Additionally, she is also non-executive director and chair of the Remuneration Committee at BAE Systems, however she will step down from this position before joining National Grid’s Board.

She said she was “honoured to be joining National Grid’s Board as the entire industry is evolving".

“I am looking forward to working with John Pettigrew and the rest of the Board and meeting National Grid employees and key stakeholders.”

Prior to her current roles, Rosput Reynolds held numerous positions in the energy sector, including as chairman, president and chief executive officer of AGL Resources, leading a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation and at several roles at Pacific Gas & Electric where she started her career.


SSE appoints new managing director for its distribution network

SSE has announced that Chris Burchell is going to take over as the new managing director for its electricity distribution arm, SSEN Distribution.

He will join the company in November, and join the Group Executive Committee in January, following a handover period with the current managing director Colin Nicol. He announced his intention to leave SSE in April 2021 earlier this year.

Nicol is joining the company from Arriva, where he is currently managing director for UK Trains, and has been for the last six years. Prior to this, he has worked at the Go-Ahead Group, where he was director of operations, Thames Trains as well as managing director for the Southern Rail franchise.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive said Nicol was an “excellent appointment” to a key role for SSE.

“His leadership experience, passion for delivery and track record in driving improvements for customers in regulated business means he is well placed for success.

“It’s an exciting time to join the sector. The distribution network will play an increasingly pivotal role in the road to net zero and a levelling up of the economy in all parts of the country. It is vital that we act as an enabler to this positive change through RIIO-ED2 and beyond, while also delivering the leading service our 3.8 million customers expect.”

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