Chief People Officer
1st December 2021
OVO is a leading energy technology company that creates clean, affordable energy for everyone. The company is currency valued at over £1bn. We had the pleasure of placing their Group Chief People Officer.
OVO Energy: A vision of the future
Founded in 2009 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, Bristol-based OVO Energy has become one of the UK’s largest domestic energy suppliers, serving both households and businesses. In just over a decade, OVO has built a robust reputation and now serves over one million customers with intelligent energy services.
Following a £216m investment from Mitsubishi and the acquisition of SSE’s retail arm, OVO has become the UK’s second-largest energy provider. Offering utility services as well as constantly evolving complementary offerings like Kaluza (an intelligent energy platform able to connect and optimise millions of smart domestic devices), OVO’s potential is limitless.
OVO is no longer just a 100% renewable energy retail business. It is now a group of innovative, dynamic companies, striving to harness technological advances to create affordable clean energy for everyone. The group’s approach has paid off, OVO is now the UK's largest independent energy technology company and supplier.
Embracing simplicity and transparency, OVO was set up to challenge the status quo and build something great. From the very beginning, the group held the ambition to become one of the best places to work in the UK. They have grown and achieved so much in their 10 years, collecting some shiny awards along the way (including being a Times 100 Best place to work and also a European Top Employer). However, the team believes that there’s still more to be done and that OVO’s people are the key to a bright future. As the group continues to expand internationally, it hopes to build on a vision to become a place where people can go and achieve the most awesome work of their lives.
With millions of passionate customers and a more than £1bn valuation (2019), OVO is perfectly positioned to attract elite levels of executive talent that can deliver on its ambitions.
What sort of candidate was OVO looking for?
For OVO, growth is the name of the game. With that comes a larger team. We partnered with OVO to find them a Group Chief People Officer to support the CEO and senior leadership team. This role would be responsible for leading and owning the People strategy - ultimately ensuring that employees are invested in and promises are delivered.
Therefore, the ideal candidate would have broad HR experience and understand what operational excellence looks like. The nature of OVO’s work required this candidate to have extensive change and transformation experience and to have also successfully operated in large, complex or matrix driven organisations.
We found that and much more in Charlotte Eaton. VP of People at Arm, Charlotte thrived in her leadership role within the semiconductor firm’s largest business unit. To OVO’s delight, Charlotte had managed several business transformation projects and developed particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions - a skillset complementary to the energy group’s expansion plans. Before joining Arm, Charlotte was HR Director at HJ Heinz (now part of Kraft Heinz) after starting her career as an HR Business Partner at Barclays Bank.
Charlotte exhibited so many of the characteristics OVO was looking for. Her ability and desire to operate strategically and operationally, and pivot accordingly made her very attractive to us and the OVO team. She has a great track record of delivering forward-thinking people initiatives in fast-paced environments. Having worked for Arm and Barclays, she’s formed an understanding of tech culture and how to build an environment for talent to thrive.
Charlotte’s an inspirational, empathetic, people-centric leader with high levels of intuition. In addition to those qualities, Charlotte is an overall good egg. Throughout the process, her warm personality placed her naturally in tune with the cultural heartbeat of the business. Charlotte effortlessly embodies all three of OVO’s core values: be the good guys, find a way, and build something great.
What to expect when working with Founders Keepers
Thanks to lots of shared values, OVO is a client we’re very proud to partner with. OVO is only going to grow from strength to strength, and we are glad to be a part of the journey.
We specialise in advising the world’s most innovative, fast scaling businesses as they build the leadership teams they need to achieve their potential. While working with OVO, we presented a diverse list of the leading candidates across talent pools, that include:
- Leading fast-growth digital consumer businesses
- Comparable utility providers
- Gold standard consultancies
- Global technology firms
In addition, we challenged conventional thinking by presenting outstanding candidates from adjacent or less obvious spaces. We’d be happy to do the same for your organisation.
If you want to partner with Founders Keepers, our team is ideally placed to assess candidates on both talent and your unique culture.
“Founders Keepers are fantastic. They worked very hard for us on a number of challenging searches. They were able to assimilate our requirements and then add their experiences to give us an array of candidates, helping us really hone into what we were looking for. Their extensive network and understanding of the market was invaluable and their tenacity and commitment is first class. We couldn’t be more pleased with the people they have helped us hire.”
Adrian Letts, CEO, OVO Retail
Are you a people leader open to exploring new opportunities? If so, we have a few open roles that will delight you. Contact us here and we will be in touch soon.