National Grid appoints new chairman

Power infrastructure supplier National Grid has appointed Sir Peter Gershon, chairman of Tate & Lyle and former head of the Office of Government Commerce, as its new chairman.

Sir Peter will join the National Grid board on August 1 and then replace Sir John Parker, who steps down as chairman, on January 1, after nine years chairing the company.

Alongside a long career leading and chairing telecoms and technology companies, Sir Peter has also been active in government, publishing defence and efficiency reviews.

He currently also chairs General Healthcare Group and Vertex Group and is a member of the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board and the government’s Efficiency Board.

From 1994 to 1999 he was a director of GEC, responsible for its worldwide defence business, until it was sold to BAE Systems, when he then joined the civil service.

National Grid’s senior independent director Ken Harvey said Sir Peter had “a
strong track-record of leading international businesses and working with governments and regulators at the highest level.”

Sir John said National Grid was “in a strong position to play its part in meeting the many energy challenges facing society over the next decade and beyond.”

The hunt for a new chairman has been under way for months and saw names such as former BP chairman Lord Browne of Madingley, George Rose, a non-executive who has retired from BAE Systems, and former BHP Billiton chief executive Paul Anderson shortlisted.