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National Grid candidate's new book offers insight

March 25, 2005 AP photo. Lord John Browne,

March 25, 2005 AP photo. Lord John Browne, the then Chief Executive Officer of BP Group addresses the media in Texas City, Texas. Credit: March 25, 2005 AP photo

 A new edition was published this month of the memoir of Lord John Browne, a reported candidate to lead U.K.-based National Grid.

National Grid supplies electricity and natural gas to a U.S. customer base on Long Island, in upstate and western New York State, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Titled "Beyond Business: An Inspirational Memoir from a Visionary Leader", Browne's book tells the story of his rise and fall as chief executive, for 12 years, of the petroleum company BP.

The new edition, in paperback, contains a fresh chapter on BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The book is "a story of failure and human frailty as Browne reveals how his private and public lives collided at frightening speed in full view of the world, prompting his abrupt resignation as CEO of BP," a reviewer says. 

A National Grid spokesman says it's too soon to comment on the reports of Browne's candidacy.

"We are currently conducting a thorough search to evaluate potential candidates, and no final decision has been made," Stephen Brady, U.S. media relations director of National Grid, said in a Monday statement.

"Our focus is on identifying a suitable successor with excellent experience and credentials to continue the good work Sir John Parker has done over the past 10 years. We are not going to comment on any rumors or speculation until the search is complete and a replacement has been found."

Browne quit BP in 2007 amid a personal scandal that also involved allegations of misuse of company resources.

Browne’s resignation came after a string of problems for BP, including a 2006 U.S. government investigation into whether BP had tried to corner the propane market; a grand jury probe into the spill of 6,400 barrels of oil in Alaska the same year; and a Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 people the previous year.

If selected, he would replace National Grid chairman Sir John Parker. A decision on who will take Parker's place will probably come in July, the Sunday Times said.

A report in The Telegraph, another London paper, said "his appointment as chairman... would prove highly contentious and could well face stiff opposition from institutional shareholders."

The company describes itself as "an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world."

Photo shows Lord Browne.



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