NatGrid hires finance boss from Cadbury

National Grid said yesterday it had hired Andrew Bonfield, who was Cadbury’s chief financial officer during its takeover by Kraft, as new finance director at its energy transmission business.

Bonfield will take over the post from current finance director Steve Lucas at the start of next month as Lucas prepares to retire.

Lucas will leave National Grid at the end of the year after serving a decade as the group’s finance director. Although his pay-off is not known, Lucas received £1.3m in salary and bonus last year.

Bonfield will walk into a raft of issues at National Grid as the energy giant faces growing pressure from US regulators over the expenses it paid to staff in the country.

He also faces the challenge of improving investor relations after the company’s surprise £3.2bn rights issue, launched in the spring.

Bonfield, who began his career as an accountant with PwC, resigned from Cadbury’s board in February, after only one year in the top post. He played a major part in trying to fight off Kraft’s £11.4bn hostile takeover earlier this year.

Prior to joining the confectioner, Bonfield was financial officer at Bristol-Meyers Squibb for five years in New Jersey and previously held the top finance role at SmithKline Beecham, which merged in 2000 with Glaxo Wellcome to form GlaxoSmithKline.

He was tipped earlier this year as a possible candidate to take over the top job at Marks & Spencer.

National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday said: “I know that with his vast experience, he will play a pivotal role in helping us meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”