Warrington-based water giant United Utilities said on Wednesday that CEO Steve Mogford will step down and retire from the board early next year and that Louise Beardmore has been appointed as CEO designate.
“Following 12 years leading the transformation of United Utilities to become one of the UK’s top performing water and wastewater companies, Steve Mogford has expressed his wish to step down as CEO and retire from the board early next year (2023),” said the company.
“As a result of Steve’s decision, following a comprehensive internal and external evaluation process, the United Utilities board today announces that Louise Beardmore, the company’s customer service and people director, has been appointed as his successor.”
Beardmore will join the boards of United Utilities Group plc and United Utilities Water Limited as CEO designate on May 1, 2022.
She will lead the creation of the company’s PR24 business plan, covering the next five year regulatory period.
“Louise has extensive utilities experience, working in both regulated and non-regulated environments in the UK and internationally,” said the company.
“She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership capability, a strong customer, people and community focus and a track record of delivering outstanding results.”
Mogford said: “It has been a real honour to lead such a wonderful team that has succeeded on so many fronts.
“We’re acutely aware of the important role we play within our North West community and Louise embodies all of the values to which we aspire.
“With her boundless energy and commitment, I have no doubt she will lead United Utilities to even greater success”.
Beardmore said: “I am privileged to have been asked to lead an organisation that cares passionately about the essential service we deliver to seven million people in the North West.
“I look forward to working with the team to ensure we continue to provide the service and results our customers and stakeholders deserve and expect; a business where colleagues are proud to work and an organisation that is recognised as delivering for all communities in our region.”
United Utilities chair David Higgins said: “Louise has been at the heart of the company’s transition to becoming a leading performer in customer service, operational delivery and employee engagement.
“She was the outstanding candidate in a rigorous selection process including internal and external candidates and the board is delighted she has agreed to lead United Utilities on Steve’s retirement next year.
“Her experience, strategic vision and constant customer focus will ensure we build on the significant performance improvements we have achieved under Steve’s leadership.”
United Utilities said last May its underlying operating profit fell from £732.1 million to £602.1 million as revenue slipped 2.8% to £1.80 billion in the year to March 31, 2021.
The company said reported profit before tax increased £248 million to £551 million boosted by “a £37 million profit on the disposal of our Tallinn joint venture and the impact in the prior year of our £32 million share of Water Plus losses arising as a result of Covid-19.”
Net debt at March 31, 2021, was £7.306 billion, compared with £7.361 billion at March 31, 2020.