Sir Stephen Lovegrove will become Chair of Rolls-Royce SMR on 1 January 2024, succeeding Paul Stein CBE.

Paul Stein has played a critical role in Rolls-Royce SMR since its inception and has been key to the growth and success of the business. Acting as Chair since the launch of Rolls-Royce SMR in November 2021, Paul has seen the business grow to over 600 people, the successful entry and progression through the UK’s regulatory process and significant engagement with potential export markets.

Sir Stephen Lovegrove will join at an important moment for Rolls-Royce SMR, as the business seeks to crystalise the tremendous progress it has made and secure domestic and export contracts.

As a renowned global leader in energy and security, Sir Stephen will bring a great depth of knowledge and experience to the role of Chair at Rolls-Royce SMR. He was the UK Government’s National Security Adviser until September 2022, previously serving as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.

He has held several senior roles across Whitehall, including Permanent Secretary for the Department for Energy and Climate Change, CEO of the Shareholder Executive (now UKGI), and was the UK Government’s representative on the Board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce SMR CEO, said: “On behalf of everyone at Rolls-Royce SMR, I’d like to thank Paul for his highly impactful contribution. He will leave a tremendous legacy having helped to establish and build our business, firstly in his role as Chief Technology Officer in Rolls-Royce plc and then as Chair of the business.

“I look forward to working with Sir Stephen Lovegrove as the business enters its next exciting chapter. His deep experience in energy, security and policy will bring support, rigour and guidance to our business as we progress in our mission to deliver clean, affordable energy for all.”

Sir Stephen commented: “Energy security, decarbonisation and electrification are fundamental to the growth and success of modern economies and the health of the planet, and have led to a significant and inevitable growth in the demand for new nuclear power.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to Rolls-Royce SMR and the deployment of the UK’s vital and deliverable solution to the global energy security challenge.”

Paul Stein CBE said: “It’s been a privilege to have played a guiding role in Rolls-Royce SMR, through its formation into a mature organisation with a technology that has the potential to transform all our lives. I look forward to handing over to Stephen and ensuring a smooth transition so he can build on the momentum we have created.”

In October 2023, Rolls-Royce SMR was successfully shortlisted in the first stage of the Great British Nuclear SMR technology selection process and is focused on progressing, at pace, to a contract for deployment with GBN by summer 2024.