National Grid has confirmed that its chief executive Steve Holliday is to stand down from his role and retire next year and will be replaced by current UK executive director John Pettigrew.

Holliday will remain in his current role until the end of March 2016 but remain on the National Grid board until July in order to help support Pettigrew as he takes control of the company.

Pettigrew is a long-standing employee of the company having been with it for almost 25 years. He joined the board last year as executive director of the UK after previously holding roles such as director of engineering and UK chief operating officer.

National Grid chairman Sir Peter Gershon said the group’s nominations committee had “unanimous” support for Pettigrew, but also hailed the “significant contribution” Holliday had made to National Grid.

Holliday said: “The business is in a strong position with good regulatory frameworks and excellent prospects for growth, and I am pleased to be leaving National Grid in the very capable hands of John Pettigrew and a high performing management team.”

Pettigrew will take the reins at National Grid just as the UK energy market begins to lurch towards a more decentralised energy framework, something that Holliday himself alluded to earlier in September.  

In an interview with World Energy Focus, Holliday said that the concept of large centralised power plants generating baseload power was “outdated” and claimed the energy industry was undergoing a “tremendous transformation”.

Several reports, including one published by renewable energy heavyweights Lightsource, Foresight and Good Energy, have since proposed the adoption of a widespread decentralised energy system comprising solar, storage and smart meters, which it claimed could enable rooftop solar installations to meet up to 90% of a regular household’s energy demand.