July 11, 2020, 20:07

Centrica CEO Iain Conn Steps Down After Pocketing Billions, Skyrocketing UK Energy Prices

Centrica CEO Iain Conn Steps Down After Pocketing Billions, Skyrocketing UK Energy Prices

Mr Conn had reportedly received a 44 percent pay rise to £2.4m despite his company revealing it had suffered losses of £446m, sparking anger from customers and unions, who branded the move “obscene”.

Centrica chief executive Iain Conn said he would step down in 2020 after failing to stop his utility company from haemorrhaging customers each year.

British Gas had also raised prices on energy twice, causing an exodus of roughly 742,000 customers and the company to lay off nearly 4,000 employees.

But prior to the layoffs and profit losses, Mr Conn earned £1.7m in 2017 and £4m in 2018.

Centrica announced in its interim results report a pre-tax loss of £446m from January to 30 June, compared to last year’s profit earnings of £704m. Adjusted revenues also fell 2 percent, or £13.8bn the same period.

The energy giant also said that it would respond by increasing its cost-saving plans to £1bn, up from £750m, as well as exiting the oil and gas production sector and axing its shareholder dividends.

As CEO, Mr Conn has sold of numerous company assets, including power plants and wind farms, as well as the company’s production business, Spirit Energy, in order to supply customers with energy.

But Centrica has endured waves of customers leaving British Gas, Centrica’s retail energy provider, with only 32 percent of former customers stating they would recommend the provider, a February 2018 poll from energy watchdog Ofgem revealed.

Whilst British Gas blamed the UK government’s energy price cap on standard variable tariffs for its falling profits, Ofgem stated that it needed to cap the energy bills at £1,136 a year amid skyrocketing energy prices, with initial reviews taking place in February 2019, Reuters reported in September last year.

Iain Conn of British Gas sounds v pissed off about Goverment in energy mkt, saying it cost £300m. I bet he’s not as pissed off as the millions of (mainly vulnerable) customers he’s routinely ripped off for years

— James Coney (@jimconey) July 30, 2019

Blasting the recent finding, GMB national secretary Justin Bowden said in a statement that a few months after “trousering a £750,000 pay rise”, Mr Conn will leave “Centrica in ‘the last chance saloon’, a direct consequence of a litany of past management failures, compounded by the [energy price] cap”.

She added: “Centrica’s calamitous financial results come as no surprise to GMB and the announcement to cut another £250m and slash yet more jobs is not the answer – you cannot just cut your way out of crisis.

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