By Kristy Dorsey

Scottish business heavyweight Crawford Gillies has confirmed he will stand down as senior independent director at SSE at the end of this month.

The former chair of Scottish Enterprise and the Confederation of British Industry has served on the board of SSE for more than five years, during which he has played key roles on the audit, remuneration, nomination and energy markets risk committees. He will be replaced as senior independent director by Tony Cocker, who joined the board as a non-executive in May 2018.

Mr Cocker has served in executive positions with both Powergen and EON, and was more recently chairman of Affinity Water and Infinis. He currently chairs SSE’s energy markets risk committee.

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“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the SSE board and I’m proud of the significant strategic progress the company has made during the last five years,” Mr Gillies said. “The remaining board members and senior management team are well-placed to build on this progress and achieve the company’s vision of being a leading energy company in a net zero world.”

The company reported a 55 per cent slump in pre-tax profits for the year to March following the decision to offload its UK household supply business to focus on generating renewable energy and operating power networks. It recorded a £227 million exceptional loss on the £500m sale of its household supply business to Ovo.

Mr Gillies is currently the chairman of Edrington, having originally joined the whisky group’s board of directors in February 2017. He is also senior independent director at Barclays, where he is chair of the banking group’s remuneration committee.

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Chairman Richard Gillingwater said Mr Gillies leaves SSE “with our very best wishes for the future”.

“On behalf of the board I would like to thank Crawford for the significant expertise, counsel and independent challenge he has brought to bear during his tenure,” he said. “His strategic thinking and commercial acumen have left their mark on many of our discussions and decisions.”