Bulb boss Hayden Wood to step down from collapsed energy firm

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

The chief executive and co-founder of the collapsed energy firm Bulb will leave at the end of July, having continued to receive a six-figure salary while the firm was being propped up by billions in taxpayer loans.

Hayden Wood is leaving Britain’s seventh biggest energy supplier, which has about 1.5 million customers, as the government continues to seek a buyer to save Bulb.

He stayed on at the company after it went into “special administration” – the largest casualty of soaring energy crisis – in November last year.

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Bulb was criticised for keeping on Wood, who co-founded what was one of the UK’s most celebrated startups in east London in 2015, given its £1.7bn rescue was the biggest taxpayer bailout since government interventions in Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS in 2008.

Wood had been criticised by MPs for continuing to receive a taxpayer-funded salary of £250,000 as he assisted special administrators from Teneo in finding a buyer.

“Bulb’s chief executive and co-founder, Hayden Wood, is stepping back from the business,” the company said in a statement. “We wish him all the best for the future.”

Wood is not expected to receive a severance package, according to the Financial Times.

When wholesale energy prices began to soar in early 2021, Bulb sought funding to prop up the business, followed by unsuccessful attempts to sell to an industry rival.

In November, the company told industry regulator it could no longer operate as a going concern, one of dozens of energy firms to go bust because of soaring energy prices.

At a parliamentary hearing in April, Wood apologised to MPs for the “way things turned out” with the company.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, pulled out of the process to potentially buy Bulb last month. The UK rival Octopus Energy and Masdar, an energy company from Abu Dhabi, remain as bidders.

No replacement chief executive has been appointed. Wood’s roles will be divided among the remaining executive team.

Bulb made an £886m loss in the six months since nationalisation, according to reports from administrators released earlier this month. Dozens of creditors, many of them small businesses, are owed £585m and are unlikely to be paid.

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