Read is a former chairman of Laird PLC and will begin his role at the new company after the merger of the retail power units of SSE and Innogy’s Npower.
SSE said Read would lead the Board of the new company, working closely with Chief Executive-designate Katie Bickerstaffe, Chief Financial Officer-designate, Gordon Boyd, and other recently appointed members of the Executive Committee Designate. He will take up his new role on 1 October 2018 and, working with an external executive search company, will lead on recruiting the Board for the new business.
SSE also said that work continues to plan and prepare for the formation and listing of the new company, which remains on course to take place by the end of Q1 2019, following SSE shareholder approval for the transaction and the appointment of the Executive Committee Designate in July. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally cleared the transaction in August and is due to publish its final decision by 22 October.
Read brings significant experience of Board-level leadership, including in high-profile, consumer-facing sectors. He is Chairman of Wincanton PLC and the UK Government's Senior Salaries Review Body. Martin will be standing down as Chairman of the Low Carbon Contracts Company and of the Electricity Settlements Company on 30 September 2018, and will also step down as Chairman of the Remuneration Consultants Group in advance of the anticipated formation and listing of the new company.
"We are delighted to appoint Martin as Chairman Designate in what is another important milestone on the journey to establishing a new, independent player in the British energy supply and services market," Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE said in a statement.
"Martin's experience from executive and non-executive roles across a range of sectors, including mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings, will be invaluable in establishing the new Board and ensuring the business is ready to hit the ground running. We continue to believe that the combination of the two companies as an independent player can deliver real benefits to customers and the wider energy market and the appointment of such a high-calibre Chairman is further evidence of this," he added.
Shares in SEE were 1.2% down at 1,107p in mid-morning trade.