New CEO at British Energy as deadline looms

1 February 2003

British Energy (BE) has announced it has taken on Mike Alexander as its new chief executive. Adrian Montague, deputy chairman of Network Rail, was appointed BE chairman at the end of November, following the departure of Robin Jeffrey as chairman and CEO.

The appointment of the current CEO of energy and home services group Centrica will be effective from 1 March. His acceptance of the post suggests confidence that BE's creditors will accept the government-backed rescue deal by the deadline of 14 February.

Of Alexander's appointment, Montague said: "I am delighted that he has agreed to join us. Mike is a highly regarded senior director with just the right combination of skills and experience for BE at this critical time as we seek to reach agreement on our financial restructuring." Alexander commented: "I am hugely excited to have the opportunity of driving the company forward to ensure that it consolidates its position in the UK electricity market and of steering it through the next phase in its development." Last month, the UK government introduced a bill designed to help BE implement its restructuring plans, whilst warning that administration may be the only option should restructuring fail. Energy minister Brian Wilson said the bill would allow the government to "deal with any eventuality faced by BE". It was passed on 27 January.

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