NGT takes Powergen PRO to head UK team

Energy giant National Grid Transco (NGT) has poached Powergen comms chief Isobel Hoseason to head its UK operation.

Hoseason will start her role in June and jump from managing a team of 15 people to one of 41 in her executive position. She replaces Gareth Lloyd, who left NGT to join the Waste and Resources Action Programme

as director of comms and awareness in February.

Hoseason reports to Powergen UK chief financial officer Graham Bartlett, but as NGT UK director of comms she will report to NGT UK group director of gas distribution and business services, and Transco CEO, Steve Holliday.

Hoseason said: ‘It is a much bigger role and a public limited company, so it is a huge challenge and a position on the executive team.’

Half of NGT’s comms team is based at its head office in Warwick, with the remainder at regional offices. Hoseason takes responsibility for comms and external relations for NGT’s UK transmission and distribution business, media relations – including the management of the UK press office – issues management and community relations.

‘The initial challenge will be getting the team behind me and getting to grips with the issues, such as the sale of local distribution zones, which is part of our network,’ she said.

NGT is to sell five of its eight local distribution networks in a bid to drive up its share price. Hoseason is no stranger to major corporate change, having overseen comms during Powergen’s acquisition of TXU’s three coal-fired power stations and its six million customers at the end of 2002.

The deal cost £1.37bn and was financed by Powergen’s German parent company E.ON. It catapulted the firm from sixth to second-largest UK energy player after British Gas.

Hoseason said: ‘I started just prior to the acquisition of TXU, which was a major time for the business. Before that, we had three million customers, and afterwards we had nine [million].’

Hoseason leaves Powergen after five years, where she had been head of comms for 18 months. She joined the company as media relations manager, later becoming an external affairs manager.

Before Powergen, Hoseason spent 12 years working for ICI Pharmaceuticals, ICI Chemicals & Polymers, Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and Zeneca Group.

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