Energy & Utility Skills is delighted to announce the appointment of eight leading industry figures as Patrons.
Group Chief Executive, Phoenix Energy Holdings Ltd
A life-long gasman, Peter began his career as an Engineer in 1976 with The Gas Corporation in Liverpool. He played a key role in the restructure of British Gas into separate stand-alone businesses. Having joined Phoenix Natural Gas as Commercial Director in February 1997, Peter was appointed to the Board as Chief Executive in July 2000.
Phoenix Natural Gas has been a continued and valued Strategic Member of EU Skills and specifically Peter Dixon has shown his support in his previous role as a Board Member and now as a Patron.
Peter said "I am delighted to be working closely with Tim and to endorse the great work undertaken by Energy & Utility Skills"
Chief Executive, Viridor
Colin Drummond is Chief Executive of Viridor, one of the UK's leading waste management and renewable energy companies, and an Executive Director of Pennon Group plc. Prior to this, Colin was Chief Executive of Coats Viyella Yarns Division, an Executive Director of Renold plc, a Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and an official with the Bank of England. Colin is Chairman of the Government's Environmental Sector Advisory Group, Chairman of the Environmental Knowledge Transfer Network, a Director of Sustainability South West, and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators.
Colin said 'I am delighted to be associated with Energy & Utility Skills; its work is vital to our industry.'
Sir John Egan
Chairman, Severn Trent Plc
Sir John joined the board in October 2004 and became Chairman on 1 January 2005. He is a director of Warwick Castle Park Trust Ltd and Borwick Group Limited and a non-executive director of Governance for Owners Group LLP. He was previously Chairman of Inchcape plc and Harrison Lovegrove & Co Ltd.
Sir John worked in the motor industry until 1990 at General Motors, Massey Ferguson and British Leyland, rising to become Chairman and Chief Executive of Jaguar plc. He was Chief Executive of BAA plc from 1990 to 1999 and Chairman of MEPC from 1998 to 2000.
He was also President of the Confederation of British Industry from 2002 to 2004. Sir John was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1986. He is a deputy lieutenant of the County of Warwickshire and since September 2007, Chancellor of Coventry University.
Chief Executive, National Grid
Steve Holliday is Chief Executive of National Grid plc and has also been a Non Executive Director of Marks & Spencer plc since 2004.
Steve joined National Grid Group as the Board Director responsible for the UK and Europe in March 2001. Following the merger between National Grid Group plc and Lattice Group plc in October 2002, he took responsibility for the Group's electricity and gas transmission businesses. He was then appointed Group Director responsible for UK Gas Distribution and Business Services in 2003.
Prior to joining National Grid he was on the Board of British Borneo Oil and Gas and was responsible for the successful development of its international businesses in Brazil, Australia and West Africa. He also played a leading role in the merger with Hardy Oil & Gas in 1998.
Steve spent much of his early career with Exxon, where he held senior roles in the refining, shipping and logistics part of the business. This included managing the operation of Exxon's largest refinery outside the US at Fawley. Between 1990 and 1994 he was assigned to the US, and in his last position at Exxon he was responsible for its international gas business throughout Asia and the Far East, when he led several projects associated with the development of new markets, including China.
Steve, who is 52, holds a BSc degree in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University. His interests include following the fortunes of the England Rugby team and the Arts. He is married with three children and lives in West London.
Chief Executive, Centrica Plc
Sam Laidlaw has been Chief Executive of Centrica plc since July 2006. Centrica is the UK's largest Gas & Electricity supplier, the parent company for "British Gas".
Prior to that, from 2003-2006, Mr Laidlaw was Executive Vice President, Chevron Corporation, a member of Chevron's Executive Committee and was responsible for new business worldwide as well as regional responsibility for Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2001-2002, Mr Laidlaw was Chief Executive of Enterprise Oil plc Europe's largest independent oil and gas company which was sold to Shell in 2002.
Before joining Enterprise as Chief Executive Mr Laidlaw spent 20 years with Amerada Hess. He joined Amerada Hess Corporation in New York in1981, after completing an MBA at INSEAD, as Manager of Corporate Planning. In 1983 he became a Vice President and was posted to London to manage and build Amerada Hess's North Sea business. In 1990 he became Executive Vice President responsible for all Amerada Hess's international business and in 1995 he returned to the US, was President and Chief Operating Officer of Amerada Hess Corporation, an integrated Fortune 200 Oil & Gas company, a position he held until 2001 when he became Chief Executive of Enterprise Oil.
Sam Laidlaw is a non-executive director of HSBC Holdings plc, Chairman of the UK Council of INSEAD, a former Vice President of the Institute of Petroleum and a former non-executive director of Hanson plc. In addition to serving as a trustee of RAFT, a medical charity for burns and reconstructive surgery, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Sam Laidlaw was born on 3 January 1956 and is married with four children.
Chief Executive, Scottish and Southern Energy
Ian was appointed Chief Executive in October 2002 having been Finance Director since 1998. He joined Southern Electric in 1992 and joined the Board on becoming Finance Director in 1996. Previously he worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), including a two-year secondment to the Department of Energy working on electricity privatisation. Ian is Chairman of the United Kingdom Business Council for Sustainable Energy and of the Climate Change Business Delivery Group, a member of Ofgem's Environmental Advisory Group, the Coal Forum and of the Energy Research Partnership. Ian is a non-Executive Director of Maggie's Cancer Centres and was appointed as a non-Executive Director of John Wood Group PLC on 18 May 2006. He is a member of the Nomination Committee and is lead Director for the Environment and Corporate Responsibility.
Chair, Scottish Water
Ronnie was appointed Chair of Scottish Water in October 2007 after having been Interim Chair of Scottish Water since April 2006. Until his retirement from Scottish Power in March 2006 he was Executive Vice President - Operations at Scottish Power's PacifiCorp subsidiary and an Executive Team Member of Scottish Power. Ronnie moved to Scottish Power from British Steel in 1994 as Generation Director. In 1998 he became Managing Director of Scottish Power's Southern Water subsidiary, after which he became a Group Director in the company.
Chairman, Wales & West Utilities Ltd
Appointed in 2006, Duncan Whyte took up the role of Chairman of WWU from his previous appointment as non-executive director of the WWU Board.
With more than 20 years' main board experience in both UK and US quoted companies, Duncan Whyte brings considerable expertise in the electricity, water and engineering industries. He has also had operational involvement in finance and treasury disciplines as well as strategy and regulation.
Duncan has also held the role of a senior advisor to OFGEM dealing with the price reviews of all the electricity distribution businesses in Scotland, England and Wales.
Among his many other business achievements, Duncan was involved in the acquisition of Yorkshire Electricity for £1.9billion and the acquisition of Northern Electricity's supply business of 1.3 million customers. He was also Chief Executive of The Weir Group which had a turnover of £800 million and employed 9,500 people.
After more than 30 years in the international oil and gas industry with the Shell Group, John Wybrew joined the Board of British Gas plc as an Executive Director in April 1996. John recently retired as an Executive Director of National Grid plc to take up a portfolio of interests including Chairmanship of the newly-licensed Energy & Utility Skills Sector Skills Council, Non-Executive Director of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, Ofgem, the Foundation for Management Education, the International Longevity Centre and two start-up business ventures. He is Deputy Chairman of the British Energy Association, a member of the Board of the Experience Corps, and a Governor of Henley Management College.