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A Week in the Life of Sam Laidlaw

What a busy few weeks for Centrica Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw.

  • Announcing the energy apocalypse that the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into the UK energy market would bring;
  • Giving up his bonus to Charity;
  • Being widely denounced and derided for his doomsday scenarios and being labeled a “scaremonger” by his largest rival;
  • Being awarded share options worth a potential £1.9m just days after ‘giving up’ that bonus;
  • Seeing British Gas Business being fined £5.6m for a series of long running unfair practices in the business energy market;
  • And now looking for a new job or rather “being ready for a fresh challenge”

Laidlaw, not expected to leave until later in 2014 isn’t the first high profile departure from Centrica recently, indeed over the past year they have lost finance director Nick Luff, British Gas boss Phil Bentley and chairman Sir Roger Carr as well as a myriad of lower level executives as strategies have been re-evaluated and major changes made.

In an astonishing piece of bravado, or the ultimate putting a shine on a bad situation, a source said as there was already a process in place to appoint Luff’s replacement.

“It makes sense to think about the CEO at the same time”.

As any business investor would know, the first business you walk away from is the one where the guys at the top have walked away from already!

The “blackout blackmailer” might well be getting out at the right time.

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