Charles Berry

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Charles Berry [1]


Charles Berry was Scottish Power's Executive Director UK, responsible for the UK energy businesses of Generation, Energy Management and Supply. He joined Scottish Power in November 1991 and was appointed to the Board in April 1999. Mr. Berry was named Human Resources Director in early 1996 and in July of the same year was appointed Chief Executive of Manweb, the Scottish Power subsidiary supplying electricity to Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. In April 1998 Charles Berry became Managing Director of Energy Supply for Scottish Power, continuing to be a member of the Boards of Manweb and Southern Water. In April 1999 he took up his Board position with responsibility for the Energy Supply and Retail businesses, Electricity Trading and Regulation. He was also a member of the Board of the Energy Saving Trust. [2]

Prior to joining Scottish Power, in 1990 he was Group Development Director of Norwest Holst, a subsidiary of Compagnie Générale des Eaux, and prior to that held management positions within subsidiaries of Pilkington plc.

Between 1974 and 1982 he held various engineering, project management and marketing positions within Pilkington before attending MIT under full sponsorship. After returning from the US in 1983, he worked in a number of Pilkington subsidiaries serving UK and international markets as Technical Director, Business Development Director and Marketing Director.

Charles Berry was educated at Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow, and the University of Glasgow where he graduated in 1974 with a first class Honours Degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering. He graduated MS at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1983. [3]

Restructuring the company

In September of 2005, Ian Russell (Scottish Power's former Chief Executive) was faced with a growing threat from the stock market as the company's shares had recently soared causing rumours of its German rival, and owner of Powergen, E.ON wanting to buy the company. After meeing with the chairman, Charles Miller Smith, and the finance director, Simon Lowth, it was decided that a major restructuring had to take place - one that involved getting rid of two of his top executives - David Nish and Charles Berry. Along with these sackings, the human resources director, Mike Pittman, and the communications chief, Dominic Fry were dismissed as well. Mr. Russell's explanation referred back to late May when Scottish Power announced the £5.1 billion sale of its giant US business PacifiCorp to the world-famous entrepreneur Warren Buffet. PacifiCorp was responsible for two-thirds of Scottish Power's valuation, which meant that the company would become much smaller when the deal went through. The idea of the restructuring was to slim down the group - stripping out the four directors in the process - preparing it for life as a smaller, independent, predominantly UK-based utility. However, Mr. Russell did not mention that the group's smaller size was what had attracted E.ON's attention or that the downsizing was threatening the independence of one of Scotland's biggest companies. To this day, Mr. Russell has yet to publicly link the two events - despite the asking of questions in parliament. Neither did he bring up the £9 million in shares, pension payments and other incentives he could make from a deal. Later that same day, E.ON confirmed that it was considering its options regarding a possible takeover of Scottish Power. [4]

Company Payoffs

Charles Berry and David Nish both left the firm in September of 2006, pocketing a total of £2.6m and £2.2m in extra compensation and extra pension sums respectively. [5]


  1. ^ Photograph from SecuritiesTrust Our People, Charles Berry, accessed 20 April 2007.
  2. ^ Company history from Archive's cached Scottish Power page 19 January 2000, Charles Berry, accessed 20 April 2007.
  3. ^ Company history from Thus Press Releases, Charles Berry, accessed 20 April 2007.
  4. ^ Company restructuring from The Scotsman "Battle to keep ScottishPower in Scotland" Top Stories, accessed 19 April 2007.
  5. ^ Fat Cat payoff information from ThisIsMoney article "Sacked power chiefs get 'obscene' pay-off", accessed 18 June 2006.