(Bloomberg) -- UK energy supplier Ovo Group appointed retail veteran Justin King as chair. 

The move comes as British power and gas retailers emerge from one of the most troubled periods in their history, after soaring prices prompted dozens to collapse. Those remaining, such as Ovo, face a market with less competition than before the crisis but with customers still struggling to pay their bills. 

In the past few years, Ovo has become one of the country’s biggest home energy providers following its acquisition of SSE Plc’s retail business. While the sector has recently stabilized, gas prices are still roughly double what they were before their spike in 2022. That’s left more than 3 million households in debt, according to anti-poverty campaigners. 

“Ovo began life as a company with an obsession to make energy cheaper, greener and simpler for consumers,” founder Stephen Fitzpatrick said Thursday in a statement. “More than a decade later, this mission has never been more important.”

King brings with him long experience of the British retail industry as a board member of Marks & Spencer Plc and former chief executive officer of grocer J Sainsbury Plc. That may be helpful at Ovo as it seeks to expand further, providing customers with new products such as electric-vehicle charging.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.