SSE's team of around 20,000 employees is led by the main Board of Directors and the Group Executive Committee.
The Board is collectively responsible to shareholders for the good conduct of SSE's business, and is specifically responsible for matters such as approving the Company's strategy, budget, major investments and overall governance.
Our Board comprises three Executive Directors and six non-Executive Directors plus the Chairman.
The Board fully recognise the benefits that diversity, in its broadest sense, can bring, and evidence its commitment to this area through the adoption of the Board Diversity Policy which is set out below. In line with a number of relevant external initiatives, including the recommendations made in the Hampton-Alexander Review and Parker Review, the Board reviewed and updated this Policy during 2017/18 to ensure that it remains relevant and stretching. In February 2019, the Board further committed to an ambition for female membership, which is set at a level of at least 33% to be maintained on average over a three-year rolling period.
The current measure against the ambition (using previous 3 years from 31 March 2019) is 30% female membership.
Specific work has also been carried out in support of the Hampton-Alexander recommendations surrounding women’s representation on the Executive Committee and within its direct reports. Details of the ambitions which have been agreed to support progress in this area can be found here in SSE’s full response to the Hampton-Alexander Review.
Richard Gillingwater CBE - Chairman
Richard joined the Board in May 2007 and became Chairman in July 2015.
Chair of the Nomination Committee. Member of the Remuneration and Energy Markets Risk Committee.
Richard has extensive and diverse leadership experience, and a sound practical understanding of corporate governance, having held the position of Chair, Senior Independent Director and non-Executive Director across a number of private and public sector organisations, including Janus Henderson, the Shareholder Executive and CDC Group plc. In conjunction with a City career spanning over 20 years, he has a deep appreciation of capital markets and investor sentiment which he brings to Board deliberations, in addition to financial expertise. Matters in relation to the long-term direction of the Company, including strategic development, are further supported by a long-standing, and developed knowledge of the energy sector and the environment in which SSE operates. Richard is committed to engaging with the business and to ensuring employee views are heard, understood and considered.
Chairman of Henderson Group plc.
Stepped down as Pro-Chancellor of Open University in December 2018.
Senior Independent Director of Whitbread plc.
Letters of appointment
Letter of reappointment - July 2018
Letter of appointment - July 2015
Letter of appointment - December 2014
Letter of reappointment - January 2013
Letter of reappointment - February 2010
Letter of appointment - March 2007
Alistair Phillips-Davies - Chief Executive
Alistair became an Executive Director in January 2002 and became Chief Executive in July 2013.
Alistair has been with SSE since 1997 and possesses a detailed knowledge of each business area having held a variety of senior roles within the Company. Prior to joining the Board in 2002 as Energy Supply Director, Alistair was Director of Corporate Finance and Business Development. In 2010, he became Generation and Supply Director, before Deputy Chief Executive in 2012, then Chief Executive in 2013. Alistair’s career progression has supported the development of sound leadership skills, and a considered and strategic approach to business deliberations. He has a detailed understanding of the energy markets in Great Britain and Ireland, including the trends and factors which can have a material impact on the operating context, such as the political and regulatory environment. He also holds a broad knowledge of markets across Europe as a former Vice President of Eurelectric. Through regular and proactive engagement, he understands stakeholder views and concerns, and continues to provide focus to people development and efficient operations in order to develop SSE’s capabilities for future growth.
Stepped down as Vice President of Eurelectric in May 2019.
Member of Scottish Energy Advisory Board.
Member of the Accenture Global Energy Board.
Gregor Alexander - Finance Director
Gregor was appointed Finance Director in 2002..
Member of the Energy Markets Risk Committee.
Gregor joined SSE in 1990 and worked in various senior finance roles, and on significant corporate projects including mergers and acquisitions, leading teams including Treasury and Tax, prior to joining the Board as Finance Director in 2002. During his career Gregor has been instrumental in the major transactions and investments which define the SSE Group. His extensive and long-standing knowledge of financial markets and experience of shareholder views, has supported the development of SSE’s financial strategy to create long-term value, including through sustainable debt financing, and the commitment to Fair Tax and the Living Wage. The Board further benefit from Gregor’s regulatory insight through his role as Chair of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution and of Scotia Gas Networks. His experience of operating within an evolving energy sector, including an understanding of the risks and opportunities which this can present, is highly valued.Key external appointments and changes during the period–Chair of Henderson Group plc–Senior Independent Director of Whitbread plc (appointed in June 2018) ¹–Stepped down as Senior Independent Director of Helical Bar plc in July 2018 ¹–Stepped down as Pro-Chancellor of Open University in December 2018–Member of Scottish Energy Advisory Board–Member of the Accenture Global Energy Board –Stepped down as Vice President of Eurelectric in May 2019–Chair of Scotia Gas Networks Ltd–Non-Executive Director of Stagecoach Group plc1 The changes to the external appointments held by Richard Gillingwater which have occurred during the period were previously reported in the 2018 Annual Report. There has been no resultant impact on his existing time commitments as Chair of the SSE plc Board. 2 Martin Pibworth’s title changed from that of Wholesale Director to Energy Director during the period. There was no change in his role, function or responsibilities as a result.74SSE plc Annual Report 2019
Chairman of Scotia Gas Networks Ltd.
Non-Executive Director of Stagecoach Group plc.
Martin Pibworth - Wholesale Director
MARTIN BECAME WHOLESALE DIRECTOR AND A MEMBER OF THE BOARD IN SEPTEMBER 2017.
Member of the Energy Markets Risk Committee.
Martin joined SSE in 1998 as an energy trader, which was followed by a series of commercial roles, before becoming Managing Director, Energy Portfolio Management, and a member of SSE’s then Management Board, in 2012. In 2014, he was appointed Managing Director, Wholesale, and a member of SSE’s Group Executive Committee, taking on responsibility for SSE’s electricity generation portfolio and associated capital investment programme. Martin has overseen the development of SSE’s diverse and flexible generation portfolio including its growing renewable fleet. Having joined the Board in 2017, as Energy Director, he leads on: SSE’s wholesale businesses; the supply of energy and related services to industrial and commercial customers; and SSE’s operations in Ireland. He brings significant knowledge of energy markets and experience of commercial, technical and operational matters, with his innovative approach to strategy, in seeking opportunities to create future value, being a key Board attribute.
Crawford Gillies - Senior Independent Director
Crawford joined the Board as Senior independent Director in August 2015.
Member of the Nomination, Audit, Remuneration, and Energy Markets Risk Committees.
Crawford has substantial international and cross-sector experience, including in utilities, which has been gained through a career of over 30 years. With this, he brings expertise in the development of corporate strategy for multi-business organisations, and through roles in both the private and public sector, including management consultancy, finance, risk, and trade and industry, he brings strong commercial knowledge to the Board. This experience provides SSE’s businesses with the benefit of extensive external insight and breadth of outlook. Having served on the Board and Board Committees of a number of organisations, including in the position of Chair, and twice as a FTSE 50 Senior Independent Director, he has the oversight and understanding required for his current role. This includes an established view and understanding of governance and boardroom dynamics.
Senior Independent Director of Barclays plc.
Chairman of The Edrington Group Ltd.
Dame Sue Bruce DBE - non-Executive Director
Sue joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in September 2013.
Chair of the Remuneration Committee. Member of the Nomination and Safety, Health and Environment Advisory Committees.
Sue has extensive public sector experience from a career which spanned almost 40 years, holding a variety of roles in local government, including the position of Chief Executive at East Dunbartonshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, and latterly the City of Edinburgh Council. Her strategic and operational experience of leading organisations with large numbers of employees, significant assets, construction projects, and an important place in the community they serve, make her an excellent source of knowledge on these matters for the Board and experienced in stakeholder engagement. This experience in collating and understanding a diverse range of views is evident in her roles as Remuneration Committee Chair and non-Executive Director for Employee Engagement. Sue has also held a number of Board and Board Committee positions in organisations across the arts, education and charitable sectors
Convenor of Court of the University of Strathclyde.
Trustee of the Prince's Foundation.
Chair of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Court Member of The Merchant Company of Edinburgh.
Electoral Commissioner, The Electoral Commission.
Governor of Erskine Stewart Melville School.
Chair of Nominations Committee for National Trust Scotland.
Peter Lynas - non-Executive Director
Peter joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in July 2014.
Chairman of the Audit Committee. Member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees.
Peter has over 30 years business experience spanning all areas of finance. As a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and through his current role as Finance Director, BAE Systems plc, he brings recent and relevant financial experience to the Board and strong direction to the Audit Committee. Within BAE he has previously served as Director, Financial Control, Reporting and Treasury, and his early career involved roles within GEC Marconi, where he was appointed Finance Director of Marconi Electronic Systems prior to the completion of the British Aerospace/Marconi merger. This background affords international experience, in addition to an understanding of long-term project management and delivery, including investment appraisal and contracting. Peter also brings pensions experience having been Chair of the trustee Board of a major UK scheme.
Group Finance Director of BAE Systems plc.
Member of the BAE Systems Inc Board in the US.
Helen Mahy CBE - non-Executive Director
Helen joined the Board as a non-executive director in march 2016.
Chair of the Safety, Health and Environment Advisory Committee. Member of the Nomination and Audit Committees.
Helen’s depth of knowledge in relation to the energy sector brings a valuable external perspective to discussions. Through her previous role of Company Secretary and General Counsel at National Grid plc, she has a comprehensive understanding of the legal, compliance, governance and risk considerations relevant to SSE, and of the regulatory environment in which its businesses operate. As a member of the steering committee of the Parker Review into the Ethnic Diversity of UK Boards, a patron of the charity Social Mobility Business Partnership, and an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, she brings a detailed knowledge of, and interest in, inclusion and diversity and brings a firm cultural focus to the Board. Helen has held previous directorships with Aga Rangemaster plc, Stagecoach Group plc, SVG Capital plc and was formerly chair of MedicX Fund Limited, and through these cross-sectoral and international roles has experience in investor and stakeholder engagement.
Chairman of The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited.
Non-Executive Director of Bonheur ASA.
Chairman of MedicX Fund Limited.
Equality and Human Rights Commissioner.
Tony Cocker - non-Executive Director
Tony joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in May 2018.
Chair of the Energy Markets Risk Committee. Member of the Nomination, Audit and Safety, Health and Environment Advisory Committees.
Tony possesses highly detailed knowledge of the energy sector gained through a 20 year career with E.ON. He brings wide-ranging and relevant experience to the Board regarding insight into technical and operational matters, including energy infrastructure and assets, and a comprehensive understanding of commodity markets, energy trading and risk. Latterly, as CEO and Chair of E.ON UK plc, which comprised E.ON’s main businesses in the UK, Tony oversaw the supply of energy to household customers, businesses and communities, digital transformation programmes and the smart meter roll-out. This long-standing industry experience in combination with his current external appointments, enhances the Board’s knowledge of trends relevant to SSE’s operations and of utilities regulation. Tony has experience in strategic planning and development through early consultancy roles, and in energy and utility stakeholder management and governance, through his current non-Executive roles
Chairman of Affinity Water Ltd.
Chairman of Infinis Energy Management Ltd.
Deputy Chairman and Governor of Warwick Independent Schools Foundation.
Melanie Smith - non-Executive Director
Melanie joined the Board as a non-Executive Director in january 2019.
Member of the Nomination and Safety, Health and Environment Advisory Committees.
Melanie has over 20 years in-depth strategy experience, advising on strategy and transformation to corporate retail and consumer clients worldwide, including international market growth and M&A. She is currently the CEO of Ocado Retail. Prior to this she was Strategy Director for Marks & Spencer with responsibility for group strategy, M&S Bank and M&S Services, Global Strategy and Marketing Director at Bupa, and Chief Operating Officer at Talktalk. This career experience, in conjunction with insight from her time as partner in McKinsey’s Consumer practice, brings deep commercial and customer experience across multiple goods and services categories, including insurance, telco and energy. Having overseen and led operational teams, she brings further valuable perspectives surrounding people leadership and development.
CEO, Ocado Retail
Trustee at Beat
Advisory Board member of Manaia