O’Kelly takes the helm at British Gas Energy


Catherine O’Kelly has been announced as the incoming new managing director of British Gas Energy.  Returning from maternity leave, she will take up the post next month, when Peter Simon steps down after three years.

O’Kelly joined Centrica in 2011, and has advanced through positions of increasing seniority.  She will re-join the group’s UK operations following two years leading Bord Gáis Energy in Ireland.

“We have a solid foundation to build on, and I am excited by how we are working to serve our customers differently and more simply,” O’Kelly said.

Chris O’Shea, Centrica’s chief executive, said: “I firmly believe Catherine will build on the early progress we have made in turning around British Gas Energy.   As a leader, she combines great customer focus and commercial experience with a genuine passion for engaging and developing her teams”.

O’Kelly’s leadership away in Dublin has coincided with turbulent times for the group in the UK.  British Gas Energy has shrunk to 6.8 million domestic accounts, according to half year financials released in July, and customer complaints are on the rise.

Four entire layers have been trimmed out of Centrica’s labyrinthine management structure, and the last of 4,000 jobs to be shed will disappear this year.

This spring the British Gas core attracted workforce opprobrium for sacking front-line staff and re-hiring thousands on reduced terms.  The company claims 98% of its staff have accepted the new offer.


  1. What a pile of sh*te British Gas is, 30 minutes waiting on one phone call, then another 50 minutes waiting on another phone call for Customer Service. I contacted BG at the beginning of November specifically requesting to move my account over to Octopus, here we are now in December and still no switch even though Octopus have applied 2 erroneous requests. I was reassured by one your advisor that ‘everything will go through’
    I DON’T WANT TO BE WITH BRITISH GAS, the customer service is the worst, your phone message while waiting says, ‘if you have disabilities, any difficulties, or age related problems then we are here to help,’ my a*se, BG customer services can’t even answer the phone, given that the most vulnerable, disabled and elderly people don’t have access to the internet, the telephone is their only option. I understand every company wants to make a profit but at what cost. I can’t wait for the 8 weeks to elapse from the beginning of November, so I can go to the OFGEM Regulator.
    I am not usually this aggressive and forthright but I get very frustrated BG are a multi billion pound enterprise and yet despite all that profit BG can’t even offer a decent customer service let alone come close to a quote by Larry Page, “always deliver more than expected.” (No chance of that ever happening with BG because there is no money or profit to be made, heaven forbid if BG really did care about vulnerable customers who are not on the internet, they might lose some of their £6,000.000.000 plus assets trying to provide a half decent, caring service,). BG have an Energy Trust Fund which is a brilliant concept if not a bit hypercritical, no matter which energy provider you are with BG maybe able help, but if you are one of our customers trying to get through to Customer Service, or to trying to switch providers, ‘tough,’ Who is more important, the customers who have paid and are paying to enable BG the privilege of being able to have an Energy Trust Fund for any utility customer, or their own customers who are disabled, vulnerable and elderly but can’t get through to your Customer Service. You should give it a try, phone and see if you can beat my record 2 calls taking 1hr 20 minutes before I hung up!


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