Haythornthwaite gets Centrica chair


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The Independent Online

Former Network Rail chairman Rick Haythornthwaite has been confirmed as the new chairman of British Gas-owner Centrica, ahead of expected energy bill increases of around £100.

Centrica announced that  Mr Haythornthwaite had won one of the biggest jobs in British business after the London Stock Exchange closed yesterday. He is currently  head of the company’s remuneration committee.

He succeeds Sir Roger Carr, who will leave Centrica at the start of next year to take the same role at BAE Systems.

Sir Roger said   Mr Haythornthwaite’s experience at oil giant BP, where he started his career as a geologist in 1978, and in “consumer relations” at MasterCard, where he is chairman, would benefit Centrica.

 Mr Haythornthwaite said that he was “privileged” to join “a company with such a fine heritage”.

Centrica will hope the appointment proves a welcome boost to its shares on Monday, having closed marginally down to 366p on Friday.

Mr Haythornthwaite has been credited with one of Network Rail’s canniest moves of recent years, when it hired Sir David Higgins as the chief executive of the Government- backed body.