SSE chief Ian Marchant stepping down

The outspoken head of Scottish energy supplier SSE, Ian Marchant is stepping down in the summer. SSE’s Deputy Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies will take his place on 1 July, the […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

The outspoken head of Scottish energy supplier SSE, Ian Marchant is stepping down in the summer.

SSE’s Deputy Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies will take his place on 1 July, the firm announced today, while Finance Director Gregor Alexander will work to support the role.

It is ten years since Mr Marchant took the helm at the supplier in 2002, just four years after it was formed from the merger of Scottish Hydro Electric and Southern Electric.

Over the last few years while government and industry thrashed out plans for reforming the electricity market, Mr Marchant has often been frank in making his views clear.

Two years ago he declared the industry needs to “make insulation sexy”, more recently taking to the pages of a daily paper to throw a few coded jibes at rival French supplier EDF over its negotiations with Government on nuclear investment.

SSE is one of the UK’s largest generators of electricity with more than 13,000MW of generation capacity across the UK and Ireland including power plants and hydro-electric dams, as well as around 10million customers for electricity, gas and other home services.

It has heavily invested in renewable energy and Mr Marchant has been unafraid of calling for more clarity from Government on subsidies and support.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of SSE praised his “outstanding leadership to SSE and to the energy sector as a whole”.

He said: “In every one of his years as Chief Executive, SSE has delivered above-inflation increases in the dividend while making significant progress throughout its operations, including the quality of service provided to network and retail customers and in other key areas such as the development of renewable energy.”

Mr Marchant joined SSE’s predecessor Southern Electric in 1992 and joined the Board of SSE as Finance Director when it was formed in 1998.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chief Executive but feel that, after 10 years, the time is right for a change for both SSE and me. I am sure that SSE will continue to go from strength to strength under Alistair’s leadership. As for me, I am looking forward to new challenges – whatever they may be!”

His successor in the wings, Alistair Phillips-Davies added that “along with the responsibility comes the opportunity to build on the tremendous work that Ian has done in the past 10 years”.