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SSE and Innogy poach Dixons Carphone's head of UK & Ireland operations to head new energy supply business

The energy suppliers said the new company will be led by Bickerstaffe as it prepares for formation and listing, expected to take place in the last quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019

Electricity pylons
It was also announced that Bickerstaffe would step down as a non-executive director of SSE

SSE plc (LON:SSE) and Innogy SE (LON:0RJH) have appointed Dixons Carphone Plc's (LON:DC.) the chief executive (CEO) of UK & Ireland operations Katie Bickerstaffe, as chief executive designate of a new independent British energy supply and services company.

The energy suppliers said the new company will be led by Bickerstaffe as it prepares for formation and listing, expected to take place in the last quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.

The new entity will not be controlled by either Innogy or SSE, however Innogy will hold a minority stake of 34.4% in the combined retail company, with SSE demerging its stake of 65.6% to its shareholders upon completion of the transaction.

The group added that Bickerstaffe would also step down as a non-executive director of SSE from 30 April 2018 to take up the role as CEO designate later this year.

Bickerstaffe has been an executive director of Dixons Carphone since it was formed in 2014 and has been chief executive, UK and Ireland for the business since 2015, having joined Dixons in 2008 and been a member of its board since 2012.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: "Katie has excellent credentials in retail, extensive experience of organisational change and recent insight derived from merging two companies into one.  She will therefore bring to the role of Chief Executive a strong customer focus and enormous capacity to unlock the great potential that exists in combining the experience and insight of two established players with the focus and agility of a new, independent company.

He added: “Her appointment is another important milestone and reinforces the commitment from both SSE and innogy to completing the transaction and setting the new company up for success."

Meanwhile, Alex Baldock, chief executive of Dixons Carphone, said: "On behalf of the board and all our colleagues, I would like to thank Katie for all she has done over the past 10 years for the UK and Ireland business."

"Katie's dedication, passion and hard work has helped transform and strengthen the business into a market leader during a period of significant change."

Katie Bickerstaffe said: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to lead this new energy supply and services company at a time when the sector is undergoing an exciting transformation.  There is a great opportunity to create a more agile, innovative and efficient company that really delivers for customers.

She added: “As we plan the new company, every decision we make must be about doing the right thing for all our stakeholders."

Shares in SSE were up 1.7% at 1,297.5p in late afternoon trading Friday, while Dixons Carphone shares were up 1.2% at 199.5p.

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