Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson to step down


Dorothy ThompsonImage copyright
Drax

UK power producer Drax has announced that its chief executive, Dorothy Thompson, will step down and leave the group at the end of this year.

She will be replaced by the firm’s current finance chief, Will Gardiner.

Ms Thompson, who has been in charge for 12 years, was one of the few female chief executives of a FTSE-listed company.

Drax generates 7% of the UK’s electricity at its power station near Selby in north Yorkshire.

Ms Thompson remains a non-executive director of the Bank of England, with her term set to expire at the end of July 2018.

Strategic moves

During her time at Drax, the company has been switching from coal-fired power generation to using biomass fuel instead.

But now it is considering another change in strategy, with plans for gas-fired power and battery installations now on the table.

In 2016, Ms Thompson was paid nearly £1.6m, including a dividend of just over £750,000.

Mr Gardiner, who joined in late 2015 from semiconductor maker CSR, was paid a total of £971,000, including a bonus of almost £500,000.

He said he was “thrilled” to be appointed as the group’s next chief executive.

“The changes we are seeing in the UK energy sector are unprecedented and we have an opportunity to thrive while doing the right thing for the UK energy market,” he said.

“Drax’s people have demonstrated repeatedly their ability to deliver transformational change and I’m delighted to be working with them to build on Dorothy’s strong legacy.”



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