Meet 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.

  • Dr John McAdam - chairman

    Dr John McAdam

    Responsibilities: 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).

    Skills and experience: With over 19 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 and across different sectors, John has a wealth of past and current experience on which to draw in his role as Chairman and leader of the board.

    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. He previously held roles as: senior independent director at J Sainsbury plc; non-executive director of Rolls-Royce Holdings plc until May 2017; and senior independent director at Electra Private Equity PLC until 1 March 2018.

    Current directorships/business interests: Chairman of Rentokil Initial plc and was appointed as non-executive and senior independent director of Cobham plc on 1 August 2017. He is also Chairman of United Utilities Water Limited. 

    Independence: John met the 2016 UK Corporate Governance Code’s independence criteria on his initial appointment as Chairman.

  • 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.


    Skills and experience: Steve’s experience of the highly competitive defence market
    and complex design, manufacturing and support programmes has driven forwards
    the board’s strategy of improving customer service and operational performance
    at United Utilities, and his perspective of the construction and infrastructure sector
    provides valuable experience and insight to support United Utilities’ capital investment programme.

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

    Current directorships/business interests: Appointed as senior independent director of G4S PLC in May 2016. He is also Chief Executive Officer of United Utilities Water Limited.

  • 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 and to the implementation of the strategy and
    policies approved by the board.

    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. 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 investment programmes, provides the group with valuable expertise in pursuing its strategy to drive for improvements in customer service and in providing our services at the lowest sustainable cost.

    Career experience: He previously held roles as chief financial officer at Telecom New Zealand and finance director of: Lovells; BT Wholesale; BT Networks and Information Services; ICI Polyurethanes; and ICI Japan. 

    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 of United Utilities Water Limited.

  • Steve Fraser - chief operating officer

    Steve Fraser - chief operating officer

    Responsibilities: To develop the strategy for, and to manage, the group’s operations.

    Qualifications: BA (Hons) Management Studies, MSc Engineering Management,
    AMP Harvard University.

    Appointment to the board: August 2017.

    Committee membership: None.

     

    Skills and experience: Steve brings a strong commercial acumen and operations focus to the wider business. He has a proven track record in managing networks and using his change management skills and broad experience across all aspects of utilities
    construction, programme and operations management.

    Career experience: Steve has a wide range of project and contract management
    experience within the infrastructure sector. Prior to joining United Utilities in 2005,
    he was Operations Director of Bethell plc, the power and construction group.

    Current directorships/business interests: He is also Chief Operating Officer of United Utilities Water Limited.

  • Mark Clare - senior non-executive director

    Responsibilities: Responsible, in addition to his role as an independent non-executive director, for discussing any concerns with shareholders that cannot be resolved through the normal channels of communication with the Chairman or Chief Executive Officer.

    Qualifications: Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA).

    Appointment to the board: November 2013.

    Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration.

    Skills and experience: Through his previous roles at British Gas and BAA Mark has a strong background operating within regulated environments. His extensive knowledge of customer-facing businesses is particularly valuable for United Utilities with the implementation of greater competition in the industry and in pursuit of our strategy to improve customer service.

    Career experience: Mark retired from his position as 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 within both Centrica plc and British Gas. Mark was also a non-executive director of BAA plc, the airports operator, and Ladbrokes Coral PLC.

    Current directorships/business interests: He was appointed non-executive chairman of Grainger plc in February 2017. He is also a non-executive director of Premier Marinas Holdings Limited. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

  • Stephen Carter - non-executive director

    Stephen Carter

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the board’s agenda on acting responsibly as a business.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Law.

    Appointment to the board: September 2014.

     

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

    Skills and experience: As the chief executive officer of a FTSE listed company, Stephen brings current operational experience to the board. His public sector experience provides additional insights to the board regarding regulation and government relations, and his experience in the media and technology industries provides additional perspective for the board’s discussions. Stephen’s previous public sector roles underpin his knowledge of the utilities sector.

    Career experience: Group chief executive at Informa plc, having previously served on the board of the Informa Group as a non-executive director and member of the audit committee. Previous executive roles include president/managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and a member of the executive management board at Alcatel Lucent Inc. Stephen has also held a number of public sector/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.

    Current directorships/business interests: Group chief executive at Informa plc and a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

  • Alison Goligher - non-executive director

    Alison Goligher

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Mathematical Physics, MEng Petroleum Engineering.

    Appointment to the board: August 2016.

     

     

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit (relinquished with effect from 1 July 2017), remuneration and corporate responsibility.

    Skills and experience: Alison has 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 provides the board with additional insight into delivering United Utilities’ capital investment programme.

    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 with Schlumberger, an international supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry.

    Current directorships/business interests: Alison is a non-executive director of Meggitt PLC, was appointed as part-time executive chair of Silixa Ltd in August 2016, and sits on the board of Edinburgh Business School. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

     

  • Brian May - non-executive director

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the audit committee.

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science, Chartered Accountant FCA.

    Appointment to the board: September 2012.

     

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit (chair), treasury (chair) and remuneration (with effect from May 2017).

    Skills and experience: Brian joined Bunzl plc 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 the treasury committees. Brian has been chair of the audit committee for nearly five years and has considerable knowledge of the company and the specifics of the utilities sector.

    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.

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

  • Paulette Rowe - non-executive director

    Paulette Rowe

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

    Qualifications: Mechanical Engineering and Management. MBA.

    Appointment to the board: 1 July 2017.

     


    Committee membership: Nomination and audit.

    Skills and experience: Paulette has spent most of her career in the regulated finance
    industry providing the board with additional perspective and first-hand regulatory
    experience. Her experience of technology driven transformation will contribute to
    United Utilities’ customer experience programme and its Systems Thinking approach.
    Paulette’s experience of operating a commercial organisation within a regulated
    framework is directly relevant to the utilities sector.

    Career experience: Paulette is managing director, Barclaycard Payments Solutions at
    Barclays Bank. Prior to joining Barclays, she was strategy director at NBNK Investments plc and before which she was commercial and marketing director at Tesco Personal Finance. She spent seven years at the Royal Bank of Scotland, where her roles included chief executive, European Consumer Finance and managing director, NatWest Retail Banking. She has served on the board of the Prince’s Youth Business Trust and is a former trustee and chair of childrens’ charity The Mayor’s Fund for London.

    Current directorships/business interests: EMEA Executive of Facebook Inc. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

  • Sara Weller - non-executive director

    Sara Weller

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the board’s activities concerning directors’ remuneration.

    Qualifications: MA Chemistry.

    Appointment to the board: March 2012.

     

     

    Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration (chair).

    Skills and experience: Sara’s experience of customer-facing businesses, together with her knowledge of operating within a regulated environment, provides the board with valuable perspective as the company responds to the increased competition in the sector and improves its service to customers.

    Career experience: Sara has wide-ranging business experience, having worked for Mars, Abbey National and J Sainsbury plc and 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. Previously, she was the lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government and chair of the Planning Inspectorate (an executive agency of the Department of Communities and Local Government).

    Current directorships/business interests: Sara is a non-executive director of Lloyds
    Banking Group plc; the lead non-executive director for the Department of Work and
    Pensions; 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.