Interview with Steve Holliday

Chief Executive OfficerNational Grid Group Plc.

"In the UK generally I have to say I’m pessimistic and I don’t see a lot of growth for the next few years. But I do see a lot of growth in our business because we do need to invest an awful lot in the infrastructure in the UK to modernise it and get ready for a green future."

"I’m very conscious of using that word ‘focus’. It’s about making sure we’re focused on what we can do; investors understand that, employees understand that and we’re pretty clear about where we can deliver value and we are disciplined about that."

"Financing this business, even though it’s very low risk, is a threat in a world in which it’s unclear how much money is going to be available, the depth of the credit markets worldwide, and the impact of any potential shocks."

"The rules of engagement, the planning permission, the consultation requirements with society, we all care more than we used to about these things, so that’s a threat to our business. The ability to execute what we have to execute for customers ultimately needs their support"

"The other big threat that I worry about enormously involves skills. Interestingly, in the US and the UK the statistics on the number of kids doing science, technology, engineering and maths show that we’re not actually creating enough people with the necessary skills today to fuel the industry in the future."

"...the shape of the industry, the challenges we’ve got in terms of this unpredictability, the need for us to think about different scenarios, but also understand new technologies that are coming in and how we can quickly adopt them for our customers, all mean we’ve got to be agile to a degree we’ve never been before."

"The regulator and government have always been major stakeholders but today there is also a very different new set of stakeholders, right down to you and me. The public at large are stakeholders because they can take part in discussions on social media. They can influence our decisions and we actually want them to do that."

"We try to build a process that genuinely goes out and listens. We try to get a conversation going and ask some questions about what people would like from their energy systems and what they value most. Their answers influence our plans."

"It is part of the psyche of the organisation, but I think it’s just going to be increasingly a necessity for us to be able to feel with all of our customers that we’re part of their community"

"One of the changes that’s been going on inside National Grid for the last two years in particular, encouraged very much by the regulator in the UK, is to really consult with society, customers and local neighbours about what they want from their energy systems."


As part of PwC's 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Steve Holliday, Chief Executive Officer of National Grid Group Plc. In this short video, Steve highlights the importance of engaging with customers and the wider community, and the need for organisations to be agile to deal with unpredictability.

Steve was appointed to National Grid Group Plc as Chief Executive in 2007. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of British Borneo Oil and Gas and spent 19 years within the Exxon Group, where he held senior positions in the international gas business and managed major operational areas such as refining and shipping. Steve also held positions such as Non-executive Director of Marks and Spencer Group plc and Chairman of the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Crisis UK, the Technician Council and a member of the Board of Trustee Directors for Business in the Community and Infrastructure UK Advisory Council.
  These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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