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Uniper makes E.ON's UK boss CEO for 'new chapter'

FILE PHOTO: Klaus-Dieter Maubach, CEO of German utility Uniper, addresses the media in Duesseldorf

By Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German utility Uniper named Michael Lewis, who leads E.ON's UK business, as its new chief executive, on Wednesday, as the company prepares to overhaul its strategy following a bailout last year.

Lewis, 55, joined E.ON in 2007 and held various management positions, including serving as CEO of its renewables division. He has led E.ON's UK business for the last six years.

"It will take experience, a broad perspective and passion to anchor Uniper successfully within the new energy world," Uniper Supervisory Board Chairman Tom Blades said.

"Michael Lewis brings all of those qualities to the table. We are very grateful to have him on board for this new chapter in the company's history."

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The appointment has been announced a day after the resignation of Klaus-Dieter Maubach, who steered Uniper through a crisis that resulted in its nationalisation after former main supplier Russia stopped delivering gas.

Uniper must decide on the future of its business model, which includes the procurement of gas, power generation, renewables and hydrogen, and whether all of those segments will remain part of the group.

"I am looking forward to approaching this task together with the executive team and all colleagues at Uniper, many of whom I still know from our common past and whom I value highly for their expertise and commitment," Lewis said.

Uniper was spun off from E.ON in 2016 to focus on fossil-fuel-based power generation, including procuring gas from Gazprom, a partnership that ended last year following the outbreak of Russia's war on Ukraine.

Lewis, who will be formally appointed once his start date has been confirmed, will get a five-year contract. E.ON said a selection process to replace him had started.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Editing by Rachel More, Friederike Heine and Barbara Lewis)