New ‘big six’ energy player Ovo hires former Burberry finance chief

Stacey Cartwright is to chair a board being set up following Ovo’s £500m takeover of SSE’s retail arm, Sky News learns.

A former boss of Harvey Nichols is joining the latest entrant to the group of giant gas and electricity suppliers which dominate the UK’s energy retail industry.

Sky News has learnt that Stacey Cartwright, whose CV also included a stint as finance chief at Burberry, is to become chairman of a new board of directors being set up by Ovo Energy.

The move will come months after Ovo completed the £500m takeover of SSE’s residential energy business, catapulting it into the ranks of the industry’s biggest players.

Industry sources said on Friday that Ms Cartwright would head a board being created for Ovo’s retail division at a time when the treatment of customers is expected to come under particular scrutiny from regulators amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Harvey Nichols chief now sits on the board of the Football Association, the estate agent Savills and Genpact, a professional services firm focused on digital transformation. Her appointment, which will take effect in June, does not affect the position of Stephen Murphy, who remains chair of the OVO Group board. Some suppliers – not including Ovo – have sought financial support from the government because of an anticipated surge in payment defaults.