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Monday 20 January 2020

Dixons executive jumps ship to head up new energy firm

Katie Bickerstaffe’s departure comes just weeks after Dixons lost group chief executive Seb James, who left to join Boots.

SSE and Npower merger proposal
SSE and Npower merger proposal

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

The boss of Dixons UK is stepping down to head up the new energy supplier to be born out of the merger of SSE’s household unit and Npower.

Katie Bickerstaffe, UK and Ireland boss at the retailer, will step down to become chief executive at the energy provider later this year.

Her departure comes just weeks after Dixons also lost group chief executive Seb James, who jumped ship to join Boots.

The retailer’s finance boss, Humphrey Singer, left the firm in January.

Ms Bickerstaffe’s appointment is the first for SSE and Innogy’s new entity and it follows a “competitive process that was facilitated by an executive search company”, the firms said.

The new chief executive will lead work being done to prepare listing the new company on the London Stock Exchange, which is scheduled to take place late this year or early next.

It marks an end to a 10-year stint at Dixons for Ms Bickerstaffe, who has previously worked at Kwik Save, Somerfield, Dyson, PepsiCo and Unilever.

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.”

The two energy giants announced in November that their British household energy supply and services businesses would join forces, reducing the Big Six energy suppliers to five.

The deal is still subject to the approval of SSE’s shareholders, as well as approval by authorities.

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