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Former SSE energy chief Marchant to head up Wood Group

The former chief executive of energy giant SSE has landed a top job with one of Scotland's biggest oil services firms with a package thought to be worth £270,000 a year.

Ian Marchant, who left SSE with a £10.5m pension pot that put him in line for a £420,000 annual payment from the age of 60 and shares in the firm worth around £4.7m, has been appointed chairman designate of the John Wood Group. It helps oil and gas firms run their operations in the North Sea and around the world.

He announced in May last year he would donate a £329,000 annual bonus to improve staff training. The 51-year-old will work five to six days a month at Aberdeen-based Wood Group initially, after taking up his post in May.

The company did not disclose details of his remuneration, which it said has yet to be agreed by the board. However, it is understood the pay and benefits under discussion would be worth around £270,000 a year.

The position will cement Mr Marchant's standing as one of the UK energy industry's most successful and well-paid executives.

The chartered accountant left SSE in June last year after 11 years running the business, whose operations include Scottish Hydro.

Mr Marchant saw his pay and pension package almost double to £2.6 million in his last year at the company after netting a near £1.1m payout from a long-term bonus scheme. Mr Marchant is a non-executive director of Aggreko, the Scottish temporary-power supplier and chairman of the Maggie's Cancer Centre charity. He has been on the board of Wood Group since 2006.

Mr Marchant said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to chair the board of Wood Group."

He said he was looking forward to working with chief executive Bob Keiller in the next phase of the group's development. Helped by a series of acquisitions, Wood Group has developed from a family-run fishing firm into a business with $7bn (£4.2bn) revenues and 44,000 employees.

Mr Marchant will succeed Allister Langlands, who has been chairman of Wood Group since 2012.

Mr Marchant's former deputy, Alistair Phillips-Davies, succeeded him as chief executive of SSE.

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