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British Water names Thompson as new chief executive

Lila Thompson has been appointed as the new chief executive of British Water.

Thompson, who has been promoted from her role as international director, will take up the full-time position on 3 December 2018 when current chief executive Lloyd Martin steps down.

The announcement was made as staff old and new celebrated the 25th anniversary of the trade association at a reception at the Gherkin in London.

Thompson, who becomes the first woman to take the role, said: “I am very excited about the opportunity to lead British Water and represent the interests of its members at all levels. This is a time of significant change both within the industry and politically, especially with Brexit imminent.

“It is important that British Water delivers a broad spectrum of services that help our members grow both at home and overseas. Integrated catchment management is increasingly seen globally as essential for effective water and wastewater management and a closely networked supply chain is key for the delivery of successful projects.”

Speaking to WWT, she added: "My aim really is to continue supporting the supply chain, to help them to grow their business globally and to represent their interests.

"One of the key things I want to do is to get out and about meeting members and getting to understand their businesses and what they need from us to help grow their businesses, and to also work closely with our shareholders to ensure British Water is the voice for the supply chain of the industry."

British Water also revealed its new look at the anniversary reception, following a root-and-branch rebranding exercise. The changes include a new logo and will be rolled out across the association’s media platforms in the coming weeks.

British Water chairman Chris Loughlin said: “This is an exciting time for British Water as we celebrate our 25thanniversary and announce our new chief executive. We are also marking the milestone by rebranding the association.

“I am delighted to welcome Lila Thompson to her new role at the helm of British Water after undertaking an extensive search internally and externally for the right candidate. She has already demonstrated a long-term commitment to the association and has built strong relationships with many of our member companies.

“I look forward to working closely with Lila in growing the organisation and enhancing the opportunities we can open up to members. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Lloyd Martin for his outstanding leadership over the last three years.”

Thompson also spoke about British Water's Women in Water event, which takes place in London on 27 November.

The event features speakers including Northumbrian Water chief executive Heidi Mottram CBE and All-Party Parliamentary Water Group co-chair Angela Smith MP.

"It's sold out and we're delighted, because it shows this is an event that really is required," she said. "It's the first event we've organised of this nature and the plan is for this to be the first of many.

"It's to bring women together to provide a platform to look at where we are now, to look at future workforce needs and to pick up some best practice from other sectors. Attendees can hear first-hand how women reached the top, what routes different women took to enter the industry and hear from role models and how they progressed in the industry.

"What we really want is for people to take something away for themselves in terms of how they can progress and develop their own career, and also how they can help and support others in the workplace."

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News
Topic: Policy & Regulation
Tags: British Water , Appointments , trade associations

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