Ian Marchant resigns after a decade at SSE

THE CHIEF executive of utility firm SSE resigned yesterday after a decade at the helm.

Outgoing chief executive Ian Marchant, who will step down at the start of July, said yesterday that the “time is right for a change for both SSE and me”. He gave no detail as to what his future plans are, although it is thought he is not looking for another executive position.

He will be replaced by deputy chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies. Finance director Gregor Alexander will also have an expanded role in supporting the new chief executive.

Marchant joined SSE predecessor Southern Electric in 1992 and joined the board of SSE as finance director when it was formed in 1998. He is also a board member of FTSE 100 engineering company John Wood Group.

Incoming chief Phillips-Davies has worked closely with Marchant over the past 15 years, joining Southern Electric in 1997 and the board of SSE as energy supply director in 2002. He has held the role of deputy chief executive since last year.

Phillips-Davies said yesterday he would build on the company’s track record of building real dividend growth and making energy supplies more sustainable and affordable.

The market took the announcement negatively, with the shares closing down 3.69 per cent yesterday at 1,382p.

“We believe that this is an unnecessary reaction: much though Ian Marchant has generally performed well as chief executive over the past decade, the remaining team is solid, and the progression is orderly,” Angelos Anastasiou at Seymour Pierce said yesterday.