From The Houston Chronicle

The top executive of British-owned Centrica, owner of Direct Energy, will be stepping down after what the company describes as an exceptionally challenging six months which included outages at its nuclear sites, pension deficits and low natural gas prices. The company announced on Tuesday that it is cutting the dividend for investors.

Iain Conn, group chief executive of Centrica, will be leaving the company but is expected to remain in place until the company’s annual meeting next year.

The company also announced it is getting out of the oil and gas business by the end of next year. Centrica owns Spirit Energy, a European independent exploration and production company, but said the oil and gas entity is not strategic for Centrica.



The company has embarked on a cost reduction program. In Houston, Direct Energy will cut 54 employees, beginning in August.

Direct Energy is the third biggest seller of electricity in Texas with about 10 percent of the retail market.

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