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Bulb boss steps down from £250,000-a-year job after government bailout

·2-min read
Hayden Wood, the chief executive and co-founder of Bulb, is to step down from the failed energy supplier (Bulb/PA)
Hayden Wood, the chief executive and co-founder of Bulb, is to step down from the failed energy supplier (Bulb/PA)

The boss of Bulb will step down from his £250,000-a-year job after the failed energy supplier was bailed out by the government.

The firm, which is being run by a special administrator as the government seeks a buyer, said Hayden Wood was “stepping back from the business”.

The chief executive was criticised by MPs when it emerged that he was still taking his full salary, despite Bulb collapsing into administration and requiring a £1.7bn government loan to keep it afloat.

The taxpayer bailout was the largest since the 2008 financial crisis when the governement bought stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Halifax Bank of Scotland.

At a House of Commons committee hearing in April, Mr Wood apologised to MPs for the “way things turned out” with the company.

According to the Financial Times, the departing chief executive will not receive a severance package.

Mr Wood will leave by the end of July with the remaining members of Bulb’s executive team taking on his responsibilities.

“We wish him all the best for the future,” Bulb said in a statement on Friday.

Bulb is the largest energy supplier to run into financial problems during the surge in energy prices. The company grew rapidly by offering cheap deals and discounts to new customers, but it had failed to adequately hedge against the risk of rising prices.

This meant it was forced to buy large amounts of energy at a higher price than it could sell to customers for under the government’s price cap.

The government is currently considering offers to take over the company, with a deadline for bids passing on Thursday. Ministers hopes a deal can be agreed over the next month.

However, there are a limited number of suppliers big enough to do a deal, which would mean taking on 1.6 million customers.

British Gas owner Centrica – the UK’s largest energy company – is thought to have signalled that it will not be moving ahead a bid.

Rival supplier Octopus is believed to be left in the running alongside Masdar – an energy company from Abu Dhabi.

Corporate advisory firm Teneo was hired as special administrator in order to oversee the firm’s insolvency.

It later hired experts from Lazard over the launch of a sale process, which drew interest from a number of major suppliers.

Bulb’s size meant it was too big for the government to allow it to go through the normal “supplier of last resort” process which sees customers moved over to rival energy companies.

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