Paul Golby, the long-serving chief executive and chairman of E.ON UK, has been asked to stay beyond the company's retirement age to complete a major restructuring of the £9bn-turnover business.
Business Energy industry insiders said that Dr Golby had said late last year that he would retire on his 60th birthday this year. However, Dusseldorf-based E.ON has waived its retirement cut-off and asked Dr Golby to continue to lead the 15,000-employee British division.
The major part of the restructuring is the sell-off of UK power distribution networks in a move expected to raise £3.5bn. Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing is trying to buy the assets through his Cheung Kong Infrastructure vehicle, although there is at least one more bidder. JP Morgan is handling the sale and Deutsche is acting for Mr Li.
The slimmed-down company would remain a big player in the UK through its power generation, which includes 21 wind farms, and £6.6bn-turnover retail divisions.
Coventry-based E.ON UK was bought by the German giant in July 2002 when it was known as Powergen. Dr Golby became its chief executive that year and is well-respected in the industry.