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Chris Weston to be appointed Thames Water Chief Executive Officer

Thursday 14th December 2023 07:00

Chris Weston Chief Executive Officer of Thames Water Utilities Limited

Chris Weston to be appointed Chief Executive Officer of Thames Water Utilities Limited

Thames Water Utilities Finance plc announces the appointment of Chris Weston as Chief Executive Officer of Thames Water Utilities Limited (“Thames Water” or the “Company”) with effect from 8 January 2024. 

Chris Weston was formerly CEO of FTSE 250 Aggreko plc for seven years, a multi-national business operating in 45 countries.  Previously he was at Centrica, where his last role was Managing Director of International Downstream and he was also a member of both the Board and the Executive Committee.

Prior to this, he held a number of roles in the Australian and UK telecoms sector in One.Tel and Cable and Wireless. He served in HM Armed Forces in the Royal Artillery and holds a PhD and MBA from Imperial College, London.  He was a non-executive director of the Royal Navy between 2017 and 2023 and has been a non-executive director of Barratt Developments Plc since 2021.

Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman, Thames Water, said: "I am delighted that Chris will be joining the business. He has a proven track record working in regulated environments, turning round business performance and improving customer experience. He brings strong operational and strategic expertise as we enter this crucial period of delivering our refocused turnaround plan and providing the service that customers rightly expect of us. 

“I would also like to express my gratitude to Cathryn Ross and Alastair Cochran for their hard work and the progress they have made over the last few months whilst leading Thames Water as Interim Co-CEOs."

Chris Weston commented: “I am looking forward to joining Thames Water at this crucial time for the business and the wider water sector.  Working with the team I will be focused on delivering the turnaround that the business has outlined and improving performance over the next few years.  I recognise that this business is critical to both society and the UK and how important it is that we restore confidence in our operations and financial position.

“I would like to add my thanks to Cathryn and Alastair for the continuity they have provided and progress made whilst undertaking the roles of Co-Chief Executives”

The appointment follows a rigorous selection process overseen by Sir Adrian Montague and the Thames Water Board. 

Chris Weston biography 

Chris joined Aggreko plc in January 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. The business operated from over 190 service centres with offices in more than 45 countries. He overhauled the company structure, invested in technology and systems, led the energy transition strategy and improved the balance sheet. In 2021 Aggreko was bought by TDR Capital and I Squared and Chris left the business at the end of 2021.  

Prior to this, he joined Centrica in 2001 where he spent 13 years in a number of leadership roles. His first role was leading British Gas Business, responsible for the provision of electricity and gas to corporate and SME customers. The strategy he implemented transformed the business and its culture, increased market share, financial performance and customer satisfaction, culminating in BGB being recognised in the FT Great Places to Work. In 2005 he moved to lead British Gas Services, a consumer business providing home services and led its turnaround, increasing the customer base, significantly improving profitability and transforming the culture.

In 2009, Chris then moved to lead Direct Energy, Centrica’s North American business and also joined the Centrica main board. In 2013 Direct Energy was combined with British Gas to create a new division, International Downstream where he led a team of 35,000 people. He set the strategic priorities around growth, service excellence and innovation.

Before working at Centrica, Chris led One.Tel from 1999 to 2001 as Managing Director for UK and Europe and successfully sold the business to Centrica. He joined Cable & Wireless in 1991 while also undertaking a PhD at Imperial College. During his tenure he worked in a number of roles responsible for strategy, regulation and corporate finance in the UK and Australia, and leading work on the turnaround of C&W Optus, resulting in the reduction of costs while maintaining revenue growth.

He served with HM Armed Forces in the Royal Artillery from 1983-1989, graduating with a BSc in applied science from the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham. He is married with four children and is a keen fisherman.

Remuneration arrangements 

Chris Weston will receive an annual salary of £850,000, pension allowance of 12% of salary, which is aligned to the pension allowance for the workforce, and car allowance of £15,000 pa. 

Chris will be eligible to participate in the company’s existing Performance-Related Pay Plan with an on-target performance paying out at 156% of salary. The Performance-Related Pay Plan contains a base award payable at the end of the performance year, and a deferred award payable after two years.

The Performance-Related Pay Plan has been designed to meet Ofwat’s requirements on executive related pay and contains performance measures directly aligned to customer, environment and financial resilience. The deferred element is directly linked to delivery of the turnaround plan. 

These remuneration arrangements are consistent with the company’s Executive Director Remuneration Policy and in line with standard company terms and conditions.