Will Gardiner to succeed Dorothy Thompson as Chief Executive of Drax Group

Directorate Change

RNS Number : 3929R
(Symbol: DRX)

Drax Group plc announces that Will Gardiner, currently Group Chief Financial Officer, is to be appointed as Group Chief Executive with effect from 1 January 2018. The appointment results from Dorothy Thompson’s decision to step down after 12 successful years as Group Chief Executive. Dorothy will leave the Group at the end of 2017.

Will joined Drax as Group Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Group Board in November 2015. The Board has kept succession planning well under review and his new appointment comes after a thorough selection process involving internal and external candidates.

Drax Chairman, Philip Cox said: “We are delighted Will is to become Chief Executive. He has been a key architect of our new strategy and is a focused, innovative and engaging leader. His appointment is a natural progression after two years working alongside Dorothy developing an ambitious strategy which I am confident will create significant benefits for all Drax’s stakeholders.

“On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Dorothy for her enormous contribution to Drax. She transformed the business during her tenure and leaves the Group in a strong position with a clear strategy that lays the foundations for further success in a changing energy sector.”

Will Gardiner said: “I am thrilled to be appointed as Group Chief Executive at this exciting time for Drax. The changes we are seeing in the UK energy sector are unprecedented and we have an opportunity to thrive while doing the right thing for the UK energy market. Drax’s people have demonstrated repeatedly their ability to deliver transformational change and I’m delighted to be working with them to build on Dorothy’s strong legacy.”

Dorothy Thompson said: “Drax Group plays a strategic role in the UK electricity sector generating around 16% of UK renewable electricity, is a world leader in the production of wood pellets and is a leading challenger brand in the supply of electricity to businesses. I retire knowing the Group is in excellent shape: it has the right strategy, the right team and in Will, the right leader.”

The Board will now commence a process to appoint a new Group Chief Financial Officer and will also review the option to make an appointment on an interim basis. 

No other disclosure obligations arise under paragraphs (1) to (6) of LR 9.6.13 R of the UK Listing Authority’s Listing Rules in respect of Will Gardiner’s appointment as Chief Executive of Drax Group plc.


Drax Investor Relations:

Mark Strafford

+44 (0) 1757 612 491

+44 (0) 7730 763 949


Drax External Communications:

Matt Willey

+44 (0) 1757 612 285

+44 (0) 7711 376 087

Website: www.drax.com


Will Gardiner joined Drax in November 2015 as Group Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Group Board. He is currently responsible for Finance, Strategy, and IT Systems.

Prior to joining Drax Will was Chief Financial Officer of CSR plc, a global semiconductor business.  He had previously been a Divisional Finance Director of BSKYB and Chief Financial Officer of Easynet Group plc.

At both CSR and Easynet Will’s focus was on driving transformational change to take advantage of new market opportunities. He is also a non-executive member on the Board of Qardio plc, a wireless medical devices company. Will is also a Trustee of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, a London-based charity that supports local journalists and civic activists in areas of crisis and change around the world.

Will graduated from Harvard University with a BA Magna Cum Laude in Russian and Soviet Studies and from Johns Hopkins University with an MA in International Relations. He spent the early part of his career in corporate finance with Citibank and JP Morgan.