July 29 (Reuters) - British utility Centrica Plc said it appointed Iain Conn, who has quit as head of refining at BP Plc, as its new chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1.
The company said on Tuesday Conn will succeed Sam Laidlaw, who will retire from Centrica's board on Dec. 31.
Centrica said last week that it was in discussions with Conn, after BP announced he would be leaving the company.
Centrica has faced a potential leadership void after the departure of several of its senior executives in recent months as it contends with public and political anger over soaring energy bills. (Reporting by Roshni Menon in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)