By Scott Wright

CHARLES Berry has resigned as chairman of Centrica following advice to reduce his workload. But Mr Berry, a former senior executive of ScottishPower, is expected to resume his duties as chairman of Weir Group, the Glasgow-based engineering giant, in the “next few weeks”.

British Gas owner Centrica announced Mr Berry’s resignation alongside the departure of chief executive Iain Conn, who has stepped down with immediate effect.

Mr Berry has been on leave from both Weir and Centrica since February 12 on medical grounds. He has been replaced at Centrica by Scott Wheway, a non-executive director, with immediate effect.

Mr Berry said: “It has been a great honour to chair Centrica, but when the doctor tells you to reduce your workload, you are wise to listen. I wish everyone at Centrica great success in the future.”

Weir told the stock market: “The Weir Group has been informed that chairman Charles Berry has stepped down from the board of Centrica. Charles continues his leave of absence on health grounds from the board of Weir. We currently anticipate welcoming Charles back to Weir within the next few weeks.”

Centrica has replaced Mr Conn with financial officer Chris O’Shea on an interim basis while its search for a permanent chief executive continues.