Severn Trent to flush out new chief after Tony Wray announces retirement

 

The starting gun was fired today on the race for one of the biggest jobs in the UK water industry.

Severn Trent, which supplies 3.7 million homes and businesses, said its chief executive for the last six years, Tony Wray, had told the board he wants to retire in the spring of 2014.

That gives the board a year to identify his successor from both internal and external candidates. It will also allow Wray a handover period as he presents the company’s major “Final Business Plan” to the regulator Ofwat.

Under his leadership Severn Trent has been at the forefront of campaigning for change in the industry to prevent future hosepipe bans and better reaction to droughts.

Wray, who was paid £1.03 million in the year to March 2012, is only 51 and friends said he was likely to seek further challenges, probably outside the industry.

Chairman Andrew Duff said: “Tony is a highly effective chief executive of Severn Trent. Under his leadership the business has undergone significant transformations and operational improvement.

“Tony has also been an influential voice within the industry and has played a significant part in setting its future direction.”

Internal candidates for his role include Tony Ballance, head of regulation and strategy; Michael McKeon, finance director; Martin Kane, head of services;  and Andy Smith, director of water services.

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