BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board’s role is to promote the long-term success of SSE; through the setting of a clear purpose and sustainable strategy which creates value for both shareholders and society.
SSE's team of over 12,000 employees is led by the main Board of Directors and the Group Executive Committee.
The Board’s Inclusion and Diversity Policy forms part of SSE’s Group-wide inclusion and diversity strategy, which is founded on the belief that greater diversity brings broader debate, which leads to better decisions and in turn better business delivery.
The objective of the Board-level policy is to ensure that Board membership remains appropriately balanced and relevant to SSE’s purpose, strategy and values; and in line with this, sets out measures that the Nomination Committee and Board will take in order to achieve this. This includes ensuring appointments and succession plans at Board and senior leadership level, support and embrace difference and nurture an inclusive Board culture. In this context, diversity encompasses gender and BAME ambitions, but also extends further to differing experience, background and thinking styles. In March 2021, the Board agreed to create a formal ambition in support of increasing ethnic diversity within its membership. This is currently in line with the Parker Review and looks to ensure that at least one Director represents an ethnic minority background.
At present the gender balance of Board membership is 40% female and 60% male. To support the ultimate goal of a Board that is generally gender-balanced over time, a supplementary ambition was agreed by the Board in 2019 for at least 33% female membership to be maintained over a three-year rolling period. Progress against this target is recognised to be sensitive to both the size and composition of the Board, and as at 31 March 2021 was 29.9% (28.5% as at 31 March 2020).
Roles of Chair, Chief Executive, Senior Independent Director and Designated Non-Executive Director for Employee Engagement
Sir John ManzoniChair +
Sir John ManzoniChair
Sir John brings a wealth of experience in the energy industry and across both the private and public sectors. He held senior executive roles within BP and Talisman Energy before spending six years as Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office, where he was responsible for the administrative and commercial performance of government departments and oversaw preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
He stepped down from the civil service earlier in the summer, and in April he was appointed non-Executive Director at Diageo, effective 1 October 2020. He was previously non-Executive Director of SABMiller plc from 2004 to 2015, and Chair of Leyshon Energy Ltd from 2013 to 2014.
Alistair Phillips-DaviesChief Executive +
Alistair Phillips-DaviesChief Executive
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 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.
Gregor AlexanderFinance Director +
Gregor AlexanderFinance Director
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 the Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Board and 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.
Dame Sue BruceNon-Executive Director +
Dame Sue BruceNon-Executive Director
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 are 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.
Tony CockerSenior Independent Director +
Tony CockerSenior Independent Director
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.
Martin PibworthGroup Energy and Commercial Director +
Martin PibworthGroup Energy and Commercial Director
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.
Peter LynasNon-Executive Director +
Peter LynasNon-Executive Director
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.
Helen Mahy CBENon-Executive Director +
Helen Mahy CBENon-Executive Director
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.
Melanie Smith CBENon-Executive Director +
Melanie Smith CBENon-Executive Director
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 CEO of Ocado Retail, and has held previous roles as 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.
Dame Angela Strank DBENon-Executive Director +
Dame Angela Strank DBENon-Executive Director
Angela joined the board as a non-Executive Director in May 2020.
Angela has a depth of executive experience through a long-standing international career at BP in which she has held a variety of business and technical leadership positions, spanning the areas of technology and digital, innovation, engineering and renewables; with her notable contribution recognised by being appointed to the BP plc Executive Team in 2018, and through a number of scientific and engineering fellowships and awards, including a DBE in 2017. Currently, she is Head of Downstream Technology and Group Chief Scientist, and will fully retire from these roles by the end of 2020. Through this career and her non-Executive Board activities, she brings broader energy industry expertise, including applicable sector regulation, and has an international outlook from working in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and America. Corporate social responsibility and sustainability impacts are key areas of interest, having worked actively in climate science research, pioneered women in STEM careers and been a champion of inclusion and diversity.