British Gas chief gets top job at housebuilder Barratt

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The Independent Online

The managing director of British Gas, Mark Clare, who was passed over for the top job at its parent company Centrica, is to become the new chief executive of the housebuilder Barratt Developments.

Mr Clare, who has been with British Gas for 12 years and has served as finance director and deputy chief executive on the Centrica board, will take up the new post at the end of the year. He is replacing David Pretty, who is retiring after 27 years with Barratt, the last four as chief executive.

His appointment comes less than a week before Centrica's new chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, takes up his post. He joins Britain's biggest energy supplier from the US oil major Chevron Texaco next Monday, succeeding Sir Roy Gardner, who has become chairman of the catering group Compass.

Mr Clare always made it clear he was looking for a chief executive posting, ideally with a FTSE 100 company, and was unlikely to stay with Centrica if he was overlooked for the top job. One of Mr Laidlaw's first tasks will be to find a successor for what is the second biggest job in Centrica.

Mr Clare's package at Barratt is likely to be close to £1m. The company has a market capitalisation of £2.2bn.