THE haemorrhaging of finance directors from UK boardrooms continued today, with Scottish Gas-owning Centrica’s Nick Luff announcing he is quitting to join publishing giant Reed Elsevier.
Luff, in post since 2007 and regarded as one of the FTSE 100’s most impressive finance chiefs, will leave the company enmeshed in a political and consumer furore over rocketing gas and electricity bills.
The energy major said in a statement that the FD would leave by end-2014, with no date confirmed, and that a search for a successor was under way.
Other finance chiefs to quit at leading companies recently include Royal Bank of Scotland’s Nathan Bostock, who is joining rival bank Santander as chief executive, and Simon Herrick at department store group Debenhams following poor Christmas trading and a profits warning.
At Reed Elsevier, Luff, who worked at shipping group P&O before Centrica, will replace Duncan Palmer. The latter is leaving the British-Dutch media group due to family circumstances next September.
Luff is part of a team credited with improving Centrica’s cost base and driving into the North American market in Texas and Canada.
“Nick Luff is widely regarded as one of the best CFOs in the European utility sector. We see [his] departure as a slight negative for Centrica,” John Musk, an analyst with Royal Bank of Canada, said.
Sam Laidlaw, Centrica’s chief executive since 2006, said Luff had made a “significant and lasting contribution” to the group.