The EDF executive in charge of the Hinkley nuclear power plant project has quit the company.

Christopher Bakken III, who has been executive director of the French utility’s Nuclear New Build division since 2011, is moving to the US to join Entergy Corporation as executive vice-president and chief nuclear officer.

Bakken is credited for leading the design, licensing, procurement, construction and commissioning of the proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C in the UK.

A spokesperson for EDF said that Bakken quit the company for family reasons.

Entergy is one of the leading nuclear generators in the US, with around 2.8 million utility customers in several southern states.

The news comes after EDF was again forced to delay its “final investment decision” on the Hinkley point nuclear plant.

Reports in the British and French press suggested the firm is now likely to turn back to its major shareholder the French state for additional funds.

EDF, which has seen its share price plummet, is in the midst of a merger with reactor manufacturer Areva and is also moving to slim down its workforce.