U.K. Grid Veteran Pettigrew Gets CEO Role as Holliday Retires

  • Limited experience on board is a concern, Jefferies says
  • Steve Holliday to remain on board of directors until July

National Grid Plc. appointed John Pettigrew, a 25-year veteran at the U.K. power and gas grid manager, to succeed Steve Holliday as Chief Executive Officer from April 1.

Pettigrew held management positions in both the U.S. and U.K. businesses and was appointed to the company’s board of directors last year, the grid operator said in a statement Tuesday. Holliday will retire after 14 years at the company, nine of which as CEO.

“The appointment of Mr Pettigrew, who has spent his whole career at National Grid, is clearly intended to signal continuity,” Peter Atherton, analyst at Jefferies International Ltd. in London said Tuesday in a note to clients. “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.”

National Grid is responsible for keeping the U.K. electricity network balanced and making sure the lights stay on. One challenge Pettigrew will have to face is Britain’s “highly politicized” energy market with diminishing supply margins next winter, Atherton said.

The committee was unanimous in its support for Pettigrew, National Grid said. Holliday will remain on the board until July 2016.

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