Archives: Management Profile

John Baxter CBE, Independent Non-Executive Director

Contribution and experience

John brings to Drax highly valuable engineering, health and safety, and energy generation experience, with over 45 years working across the nuclear, electricity, oil and gas sectors. John was previously at BP plc, most recently as Group Head of Engineering & Process Safety, prior to which he worked at the UK utility Powergen plc as Group Engineering Director, as well as roles as a UKAEA Board member and also as a nuclear submarine engineer officer. He is a non-executive Director of Sellafield Ltd and chairs the Sellafield Board Committee on Environment, Health, Safety & Security.

He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. John was President of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and The Welding Institute.

Appointment to the Board:

April 2019

Board Committees:

  • Member of the Nomination Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee

External appointments:

  • Sellafield Ltd (Non-Executive Director)
  • Sellafield Board Committee on Environment, Health, Safety & Security (Chair)

Andy Skelton, Group Chief Financial Officer

Contribution and Experience

Andy has over 20 years of strong finance and commercial skills, alongside substantial experience in the technology sector. Since joining Drax three years ago he has driven efficiency and operational excellence across the Group to provide a sound framework from which we can deliver our purpose and strategy.

Andy is responsible for financial control and planning, corporate finance, investor relations, tax, IT, procurement, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, risk, and internal audit. He also represents Drax as a board member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Andy was previously CFO at Fidessa Group plc and has held a number of senior finance positions at CSR plc, Ericsson and Marconi, including two years as CFO of Ericsson Nikola Tesla. Andy has a BA in accounting and finance and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1994.

Appointment to the Board:

January 2019

Penny Small, Chief Transformation Officer

Penny Small, Group Generation Director

Penny has a wealth of experience in the energy industry, and has led major integration and transformation projects, including the integration of International Power and GDF Suez.

She was previously Director of Asset Optimisation and Digital at Engie and, prior to that, was Director of Strategy and Communications.

Appointment to the Executive Committee:

  • November 2018

Vanessa Simms, Independent Non-Executive Director

Contribution and experience

Vanessa has extensive experience in senior finance roles across several different, and capital intensive, industries, including real estate, medical devices and telecommunications. Her broad and varied experience in strategic capital allocation, finance, risk and internal control is invaluable in her role as Chair of the Audit Committee.

Vanessa is CFO of Land Securities Group plc, and has worked in finance for over 20 years. Prior to her role at Land Securities Group plc,  Vanessa was CFO of Grainger plc, held a number of senior positions within Unite Group plc, including Deputy Chief Financial Officer, and was UK finance director at SEGRO plc. Vanessa is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and has an Executive MBA from Ashridge.

Appointment to the Board:

June 2018

Board Committees:

  • Chair of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee

External appointments:

  • Land Securities Group plc (Chief Financial Officer)

Nicola Hodson, Independent Non-Executive Director

Contribution and experience

Nicola brings valuable technology expertise, as well as having extensive experience in business and digital transformation, sales and IT in leading global companies. As Chair of the Remuneration Committee Nicola brings to the role a wide range of experience of international business, government organisations, and dealing with a variety of stakeholders.

Previously she had P&L and sales roles at Siemens, CSC (now DXC) and EY. Nicola is a Non-Executive Director of Beazley plc.

Appointment to the Board:

January 2018

Board committees:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee
  • Chair of the Remuneration Committee

External Appointments

  • TechUK (Member of the Board)
  • Beazley plc (Non-executive director)

David Nussbaum, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Contribution and experience

David’s extensive experience in international development and environmental matters, in addition to his prior experience as Finance Director of a UK listed industrial company, is of significant value to Drax and contributes to the Board’s discussions and understanding in the perspectives of and engagement undertaken with stakeholders.

David holds a portfolio of other Board appointments, including at the International Budget Partnership, Chatham House, and the Joffe Trust; and is a member of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group of the Church of England, and Chair of the Advisory Council of Transparency International UK.  His executive career has included being the Chief Executive of The Elders, of WWF-UK and of Transparency International.  He was previously Finance Director and Deputy CEO of Oxfam, and Finance Director of Field Group plc.  In a non-executive capacity, David has been Deputy Chair of the International Integrated Reporting Council, Deputy Chair of Shared Interest Society, a non-executive director of Low Carbon Accelerator Limited, and Chair of Traidcraft plc.

David is a chartered accountant, and has Masters in Theology from both Cambridge and Edinburgh universities and a Masters in Finance from the London Business School.

Appointment to the Board: 

August 2017

Board Committees:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee

External appointments:

  • Chatham House (Member of the Board)
  • The International Budget Partnership (Member of the Board)
  • The Ethical Investment Advisory Group of the Church of England (Member)
  • Advisory Council of Transparency International UK (Chair)