Centrica hires Young to lead energy focus

British Gas owner Centrica has overhauled its comms function in a bid to refocus as an energy company.

The FTSE 100 group has appointed Michael Young, who has worked as an external consultant to Centrica for several years, as director of corporate affairs.

The ten-strong British Gas brand team has been moved from Stockley Park near Heathrow to work alongside Centrica's four-strong corporate comms team at its HQ in Windsor.

Young takes over from former British Gas corporate affairs director Patrick Law, who has been acting in the role since Simon Lewis quit late last year for the top comms role at Vodafone.

Law has been made Centrica CEO Sir Roy Gardner's 'right-hand man', with the title of executive director. He will act as Gardner's chief of staff with no PR duties. The changes put Young, credited with setting up the corporate affairs department in 1997, in charge of PR for the group and its British Gas subsidiary.

The British Gas media team is run by head of comms Mish Tulla, who reports to Centrica media relations director Tess Dixon.

Centrica group media relations manager Andrew Turpin said the restructure was designed to reflect Centrica's refocus on its energy business. It sold the AA in 2003, as well as the Goldfish credit card business.

Alongside British Gas, Centrica also owns several energy subsidiaries based overseas and telecoms supplier One.Tel.

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