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John Holland-Kaye joins Thames Water board

Monday 27th March 2023 10:07

John Holland-Kaye wearing suit and purple tie

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited

Thames Water has appointed Heathrow Airport Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye as a Non-Executive Director of its board. John will take up the position in April 2023 and will represent Thames Water’s shareholder, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) on the board. 

John joins the UK’s largest water company following more than 21 years’ experience in the aviation, construction and drinks manufacturing sectors, including 14 years at Heathrow Airport and seven years at Taylor Wimpey.

He has been Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, Europe's latest airport, since 2014 having joined the airport as Commercial Director in 2009. During his tenure as CEO, he has transformed Heathrow into one of the world’s best consumer service organisations and led the company through two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and delivered its recovery.

David Waboso CBE, who joined the Thames Water board in February 2019 as an Independent Non-Executive Director, will be stepping down in May 2023 due to other commitments. 

Ian Marchant, Thames Water chairman, said: “I’d like to welcome John to the company. He brings a wealth of experience in construction and commercial matters and has proven world-class skills as demonstrated during his tenure leading Europe’s largest airport. 

“I also want to extend my thanks to David for the rigour and commitment he has brought to the role of Chair of the Health, Safety and Environment Committee and for his very significant contributions to the Thames Water board as we seek to strengthen our engineering and asset management capabilities. David has also brought his wide experience and perspective to the implementation of our equality, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.”

John Holland-Kaye added: “I look forward to joining Thames Water, at this critical time, to support the implementation of its turnaround plan and improve its performance and outcomes for customers, leakage, and river health.  Of course, there will be challenges to overcome but I’m delighted to be joining an organisation which provides essential services to millions of people and has pledged its support for customers through the cost-of-living crisis. All while continuing to invest in its operations, customers services and water and waste networks.”

John’s prior roles at Heathrow were as Development Director and Commercial Director of Heathrow Airport, which included leading the highly successful £2.5billion construction and opening of Terminal 2.  Prior to Heathrow, his previous roles included Divisional CEO of Taylor Wimpey UK, and Managing Director of National Sales at Bass Brewers.   

He is also a member of the Advisory Board of HM King Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative, and chair of its Aviation Taskforce, Chair of WEF’s Aviation, Travel and Tourism Governors’ Group, a member of DEFRA’s Council for Sustainable Business, and a Commissioner with the Energy Transitions Commission.   

John has been an Independent Non-Executive Director of Thames Tideway Tunnel since 2017 and is stepping down from this role at the end of March 2023.