SSE hires ex-civil service chief Manzoni as chair

John Manzoni

SSE, the Perth-based renewable energy and electricity networks giant, said on Tuesday it appointed John Manzoni to succeed Richard Gillingwater as SSE chair.

Manzoni held senior executive roles at BP and Talisman Energy before spending six years as chief executive of the UK’s Civil Service and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office, where he oversaw preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

“Sir John will take on the role on 1 April 2021, following the previously disclosed, time-limited extension to Richard Gillingwater’s tenure,” said SSE.

“Sir John will initially join the board as non-executive director from 1 September 2020 and work closely with Richard to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.

“The appointment follows a comprehensive, independent recruitment process supported by the executive search firm Sam Allen Associates.”

SSE said Manzoni brings a wealth of experience in the energy industry and across the private and public sectors.

Manzoni stepped down from the civil service earlier in the summer, and in April he was appointed non-executive director at Diageo, effective October 1, 2020.  

He was previously non-executive director of SABMiller plc from 2004 to 2015, and chair of Leyshon Energy Ltd from 2013 to 2014.

Manzoni said: “I’m delighted to take on this new role and to succeed Richard as chair.

“With a strong, purpose-led management team, clear strategic focus and a pipeline of low-carbon investment opportunities, SSE is uniquely placed to lead the green economic recovery and to deliver value for shareholders and society through the transition to net zero emissions.

“I’m looking forward to leading the board and working with the executive team to realise SSE’s vision of being a leading energy company in a net zero world.” 

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