Our board

United Utilities is led by a board of directors and executive team. Each individual has been chosen on the basis of their experience and expertise, as well as their commitment to achieving the very best results for United Utilities and its customers. Together, members of the board of directors develop policies and strategies for implementation by the executive team.

Board of directors

  • Dr John McAdam Chairman

    Dr John McAdam
    Responsibilities

    Is responsible for the leadership of the board, setting its agenda and ensuring its effectiveness on all aspects of its role.

    Qualifications

    BSc (Hons) Chemical Physics, Diploma Advanced Studies in Science, PhD.

    Appointment to the board: Appointed as a non-executive director in February 2008 and as Chairman in July 2008.

    Committee membership: Nomination (chair).

    Current directorships/business interests: Chairman of Rentokil Initial plc and a non-executive director of Rolls-Royce Holdings plc. He is also Chairman and a director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Appointed to the board of ICI plc in 1999 and became chief executive in 2003, a position held until ICI’s takeover by Akzo Nobel.

    Skills and experience: With over 17 years’ service as a board director in a wide range of companies, and as a current non-executive director serving on a number of other boards, John has a wealth of experience on which to draw in his role as Chairman and leader of the board.

    Independence: John met the Code's independence criteria at the time of his initial appointment to the board in February 2008.

  • Steve Mogford Chief executive officer

    Steve Mogford
    Responsibilities

    To manage the group’s business and to implement the strategy and policies approved by the board.

    Qualifications

    BSc (Hons) Astrophysics/Maths/Physics.

    Appointment to the board: January 2011.

    Committee membership: Corporate responsibility.

    Current directorships/business interests: Senior independent director of G4S PLC. He is also Chief Executive Officer and a director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Previously chief executive of SELEX Galileo, the defence electronics company owned by Italian aerospace and defence organisation Finmeccanica. Previously chief operating officer at BAE Systems PLC, and a member of its PLC board, he spent his earlier career with British Aerospace PLC.

    Skills and experience: Steve’s experience of the highly competitive defence market and complex design, manufacturing and support programmes has brought renewed focus to customer service and operational performance at United Utilities, and his perspective of the construction and infrastructure sector provides valuable experience relating to United Utilities’ capital investment programme.

  • Russ Houlden Chief financial officer

    Russ Houlden
    Responsibilities

    To manage the group’s financial affairs and to contribute to the management of the group’s business.

    Qualifications

    BSc (Hons) Management Sciences, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Fellow of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

    Appointment to the board: October 2010.

    Committee membership: Treasury.

    Current directorships/business interests: Member of the supervisory board and chairman of the audit committee of Orange Polska SA, the largest listed telecommunications company in Poland. He is a member of the main committee and chairman of the financial reporting committee of the 100 Group. He is also chief financial officer and a director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Chief financial officer at Telecom New Zealand. Previously finance director of Lovells, BT Wholesale, BT Networks and Information Services, ICI Polyurethanes and ICI Japan.

    Skills and experience: Russ’s skills and experience in accounting, treasury, tax, M&A and investor relations in other commercial and regulated companies, along with his extensive experience of driving performance improvement and managing large capital expenditure programmes, provides the group with valuable expertise with regard to its drive for improvements in customer service, business development, operations, capital investment and financing.

  • Stephen Carter Independent non-executive director

    Stephen Carter
    Qualifications

    Bachelor of Law

    Appointment to the Board

    September 2014

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit and corporate responsibility (chair)

    Current directorships/business interests: Group chief executive at Informa plc and a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Prior to his appointment as group chief executive at Informa plc on 1 January 2014, he was appointed as CEO designate on 1 September 2013, having previously served on the board as an independent non-executive director and member of the audit committee. He has also held non-executive director positions at Travis Perkins plc and Royal Mail Holdings plc. Previous roles include president/managing director, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and a member of the executive management board at Alcatel Lucent Inc. Stephen has also held a number of public service roles, serving a term as the founding chief executive of Ofcom. He was formerly chairman of the board at Ashridge Business School. He is a Life Peer.

    Skills and experience: As the CEO of a FTSE listed company, Stephen brings current operational experience to the board. His time spent in public service provides additional insights to the board regarding regulation and government relations, and his experience in the media and technology industries provides a new perspective for the board’s discussions.

  • Mark Clare Senior independent non-executive director

    Mark Clare
    Qualifications

    Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA).

    Appointed to the board

    November 2013.

    Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration.

    Current directorships/business interests: Senior independent director of Ladbrokes plc. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Mark retired from his position as group chief executive at Barratt Developments plc in July 2015, a role he had held for nine years. He is a former trustee of the Building Research Establishment and the UK Green Building Council. Prior to joining Barratt, he was an executive director of Centrica plc and held a number of senior roles both within Centrica plc and British Gas. Mark has also been a non-executive director of BAA plc, the airports operator.

    Skills and experience: As a former CEO of a FTSE 100 company, Mark brings recent current operational experience to the board. His time at British Gas and BAA means he has a strong background operating in a regulated environment and his extensive knowledge of customer facing businesses is particularly valuable as the industry prepares for increased competition and pursues its continuous drive to improve customer service.

  • Alison Goligher Independent non-executive director

    Alison Goligher image
    Qualification

    BSc (Hons) Maths and Physics, MEng Petroleum Engineering.

    Appointment to the board

    August 2016.

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit, remuneration and corporate responsibility.

    Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive director of Meggitt PLC where she is a member of the audit, remuneration and nomination committees.

    Career experience: From 2006 to 2015, Alison worked for Royal Dutch Shell, with her most recent executive role as Executive Vice President Upstream International Unconventionals. Prior to that she spent 17 years at Schlumberger, an international supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry.

    Skills and experience: Alison brings strong technical and capital project management skills having been involved in large projects and the production side of Royal Dutch Shell’s business. This experience of engineering and industrial sectors will provide the board with additional perspective in relation to United Utilities’ capital investment programme.

  • Brian May Independent non-executive director

    Brian May
    Qualifications

    BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science, Chartered Accountant ACA.

    Appointed to the board

    September 2012.

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit (chair) and treasury (chair).

    Current directorships/business interests: Finance director at Bunzl plc. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Brian has been finance director at Bunzl plc since 2006 and prior to that held a number of senior finance roles within the company. Prior to joining Bunzl, Brian qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG.

    Skills and experience: Brian joined Bunzl in 1993 as head of internal audit before becoming group treasurer, then finance director, Europe and Australasia, and is currently finance director. Brian’s background and the various finance roles that he has held are major assets to the board in chairing both the audit and treasury committees.

  • Sara Weller Independent non-executive director

    Sara Weller
    Qualifications

    MA Chemistry.

    Appointed to the board

    March 2012.

    Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration (chair).

    Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group plc. Chair of the Planning Inspectorate (an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government) and a board member at the Higher Education Funding Council for England and a council member at Cambridge University. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Career experience: Sara has wide-ranging business experience having worked for Mars, Abbey National and J Sainsbury plc and latterly as managing director of Argos from 2004 to 2011. She served as the senior independent director at Mitchells and Butlers plc from 2003 to 2006 and also chaired its remuneration committee from 2003 to 2010. Sara was also the lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    Skills and experience: Sara’s experience of customer facing businesses, together with her knowledge of operating within a regulated environment, is a major asset to the board as the water industry prepares for the opening up of the sector to more competition and in improving customer service.

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