National Grid have announced the appointment of John Pettigrew as their new chief executive. However, Steve Holliday, the outgoing head, has said that the upcoming winter will be a “tight” one.
It was announced on Tuesday that Mr Pettigrew would be taking over as the chief executive of the company, which controls power networks in the UK. Mr Holliday, the head of the company since back in 2007, stated that the difference between the UK’s supply of energy and demand for it will be “tighter than we would like” in the coldest months of the year.
Mr Holliday has been undoubtedly successful in his time as chief executive. The company has provided its shareholders with returns of 136% in the time he has been in charge. The company is now also trading around 80% higher than it was when he first took up is position. However, the company is now facing a tough winter as it aims to ensure that homes and businesses across the country can continue to receive uninterrupted energy supplies. This has been made harder than usual due to the fact that many power plants are currently being shutdown.
“Tight Than We Would Like”
He commented saying:
“This winter is a bit tighter than we would like. There is a need to build some more generation in the next few years. Hinkley Point [the planned nuclear power station in Somerset] is part of that, but it is some way off.”
There are many actions being taken by the National Grid at the moment, which would not normally be deemed necessary. One of these tactics has been to offer monetary reimbursements to companies that are willing to shut their power off for set lengths of time.
Mr Holliday went on:
“We have the tools we need to make sure we balance supply and demand in the coldest, darkest hour in the winter.”
Pettigrew Backed To Do “Fantastic Job”
He said that he believes that Mr Pettigrew will do “a fabulous job”. John Pettigrew has been at the company since he first became a graduate trainee in 1991.
National Grid’s chairman, Sir Peter Gershon, said:
“Steve has made a significant contribution to the energy sector and National Grid. Under Steve’s leadership the company has delivered excellent returns for shareholders ensuring its place as one of the world’s leading utilities.”
There were some concerns raised over Mr Pettigrew’s appointment. Peter Atherton at Jefferies commented saying:
“One concern over the appointment will be the relative lack of experience of Mr Pettigrew, who was only appointed to the board of National Grid in 2014.
“Investors will also be interested as to how this appointment impacts on the future of Mr [Andrew] Bonfield, the well regarded CFO, and whether this appointment means he may also leave the firm in due course.”
Shares in National Grid fell to 916.7p by 0.7% on Tuesday. It is thought that this drop can be attributed to Mr Holliday’s departed as much as it can be to Mr Pettigrew’s appointment.