Centrica chairman to step down within one year

Chairman of the UK energy company Centrica has decided to step down from his position within the next 12 months.

Centrica said on Tuesday that Rick Haythornthwaite, the company’s chairman, would step down from his position following almost six years with the company.

The company added that this would enable an orderly handover to a successor in due course.

Centrica’s board of directors will begin a process to appoint a successor. The process will be overseen by the Nominations Committee and led by senior independent director Stephen Hester.

Haythornthwaite joined the board as a non-executive director in October 2013 and became chairman in January 2014. He will continue to serve as chairman until a successor is appointed and in place.

He led Invensys from 2001 to 2005 and Blue Circle Industries from 1997 to 2001. Between 1978 and 1995, he spent his early career in various corporate, upstream and leadership positions in BP, including exploration and production roles in the North Sea, Alaska, France and Venezuela, before moving to Premier Oil as commercial director in 1995.

Haythornthwaite also served on the boards of Network Rail as chairman and Cookson, Lafarge, ICI, and Land Securities as a non-executive director.

He said: “Chairing Centrica has been a real privilege, and the group has made material progress against a challenging external environment, including significant fundamental changes in the energy landscape.

“Over this period, the board has overseen the appointment of Iain Conn as group chief executive, the development and execution of a new strategy focused on the customer, and with it significant changes to Centrica’s portfolio and capabilities.”

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