Economy

Drax appoints CFO Will Gardiner as new CEO

Drax appoints CFO Will Gardiner as new CEO”

Electrical power-generation company Drax Group PLC (DRX.LN) on Thursday said it has promoted Chief Financial Officer Will Gardiner to chief executive, effective January 1, 2018.

Gardiner, who is now Drax's chief financial officer after joining in November 2015, will replace Dorothy Thompson after she made a decision to step down as CEO after 12 years.

Thompson has played a major part in overseeing the company's shift from coal to biomass: the power station, which generates seven per cent of the UK's electricity and 16 per cent of its renewable energy, is now 70 per cent powered by wood pellets.

Drax, which generates about 7 per cent of United Kingdom electricity and runs a coal and biomass-fired power plant near Selby in North Yorkshire, said it was seeking a replacement for Mr Gardiner, who joined the board in 2015. Gardiner has previously held roles at CSR and Sky.

Chairman Philip Cox said Gardiner was "a focused, innovative and engaging leader", and thanked Thompson for an "enormous contribution to Drax" over her 12-year tenure at the helm.

However, today Thompson insisted he was the right man for the job.

Gardiner said he was thrilled to step up during a period of "unprecedented change" in the energy sector.

Shares in Drax were down 0.2% at 309.80 pence at the start of trading Thursday.



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