Ex-Safeway chief Partington to join utilities giant TXU

Roger Partington, formerly Safeway’s most senior marketer, has surfaced in the utilities sector as a senior executive at TXU Europe – one of the UK’s largest energy companies.

Partington has been made president of Eastern Energy, the UK retail division of US-owned energy giant TXU, and takes a place on TXU Europe’s management board.

The move comes four and-a-half months after he left Safeway following the arrival of ex-Wal-Mart hot-shot Carlos Criado-Perez, who has since become chief executive of the beleaguered grocer.

Partington, who was Safeway’s customer development director and the only board-level marketer, left the chain in July. It is understood he was upset at being elbowed aside as chief executive designate. Partington was replaced as marketing director by brand marketing chief Roger Ramsden.

Criado-Perez has since impressed analysts and industry observers with a strategy overhaul that has seen the slashing of 40 marketing posts and cancellation of national advertising.

Partington took up his new post last week. He will also assume an executive vice-president’s role at TXU Europe, TXU’s UK subsidiary, as part of the move.

TXU Europe, which was formerly known as the Eastern Group was bought by Texas Utilities, now TXU, for &£4.5bn in April 1998.

TXU subsidiary Eastern Electricity and London Electricity are to set up a joint venture to manage the infrastructure assets of other UK utilities and private networks.

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