The Business On... Heidi Mottram, chief executive, Northumbrian Water
Thursday 02 June 2011
The woman in charge of the Tyne?
Well, sort of. Northumbria does indeed supply water and sewage services in the North-east, though it also supplies customers in the South-east through its Essex & Suffolk Water business. Ms Mottram is doing rather well – the company said yesterday that profits and sales were running ahead of expectations. Also, environmental standards continue to improve – the Tyne, for example, is cleaner than it has been in decades – and despite the dry spell, there are no plans for any supply restrictions this summer.
So is Ms Mottram a water industry veteran?
Far from it. She got the job in April last year having worked in the rail industry ever since university. She's the first woman to take charge at one of Britain's big water companies and, at 46, is younger than most other FTSE 250 bosses too.
Why did Northumbrian want a rail executive?
She had an excellent reputation as the boss of Northern Rail, which is the UK's biggest train operating company, picking up a string of awards, including an OBE. The "Tell Heidi" initiative she ran at the company, encouraging staff to bring their concerns and ideas to her, has been widely copied. Northumbrian, meanwhile, hasn't always enjoyed the best reputation for service and openness, so Ms Mottram was the ideal candidate.
She's not a train spotter then?
She joined British Rail as a management trainee in 1986, having failed to get a grant for a postgraduate course that would have qualified her as a National Parks ranger. Still, she thrived in the role, winning plaudits early on for the way in which she dealt with the derailment of a parcels train at Leeds station. She also made the transition very successfully following privatisation, holding down progressively more senior roles at GNER, Midland Mainline and Arriva.
And when she's not plugging all those leaks?
Yorkshire born and bred, you might find her in her holiday cottage in Whitby.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Isis video purports to show beheadings and execution at gunpoint of 30 Ethiopian Christians and destruction of churches in Libya
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...
£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...