Smart Energy CMO Gavin Sheppard to step down

Sheppard joined government-backed company in 2014.

Sheppard: leaves after six years
Sheppard: leaves after six years

Gavin Sheppard is set to step down from his role as chief marketing officer at Smart Energy GB at the end of the year.

Sheppard joined Smart Energy, a joint venture of the British energy industry backed by the government, in February 2014. He established the marketing function and appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and PHD to develop the £85m, five-year campaign encouraging people to adopt smart meters.

Since then, almost 15 million households and microbusinesses have taken up the technology, while Smart Energy said awareness of it was almost universal.

Sheppard will not be replaced, with Claire Howes, who has been the director of marketing since October 2018, now the most senior marketer in the company.

Sheppard said: "Given the roll-out [of smart meters] is now planned to extend into the mid-2020s, now is the right time to stand down and let my successors shape and lead that second phase."

Describing Sheppard as "a rare talent", Smart Energy GB chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: "He developed and delivered a campaign that busted the category conventions in the energy sector and created unprecedented levels of engagement and response. When he joined Smart Energy GB, Gavin was the only member of the marketing team. Since that time, he has attracted and retained a phenomenal group of talent, in colleagues and agencies alike.

"It’s a testament to his belief that producing high-performing marketing and communications can be both incredibly sophisticated and great fun to make. The national smart meter roll-out is one of the UK’s largest and most important infrastructure upgrades for a generation. Gavin has made a critical contribution to a project that is of enormous significance to the future success of our country."

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