Thames Water has today announced the appointment of Sarah Bentley as chief executive officer, starting this autumn.
During her time at Severn Trent, Sarah has been the chief customer officer responsible for customer retail and network operations, group technology and transformation.
Ian Marchant, Thames Water’s interim executive chairman, said: “Our board has conducted a thorough search to find the best candidate to fill this important role, and we’re delighted to have secured someone of Sarah’s calibre. Her natural ability to inspire and motivate customer-facing teams will ensure that our collective focus is always on delivering for our customers regardless of the circumstances we face, not least those we’re all experiencing today.
“Sarah has invaluable experience in the water sector and has demonstrated an outstanding ability to innovate and meet customer needs in a regulated environment. This is a critical time for the company, and alongside her passion for customers, Sarah is clearly the perfect person to lead our multi-billion pound investment programme and develop our longer term strategy to ensure a resilient water and waste service for generations to come.”
Among her achievements, Sarah led the transformation of Severn Trent’s digital customer experience, as well as delivering a fundamental shift in the company’s leakage performance – leading to significant improvements in customer satisfaction.
Before Severn Trent, Sarah was managing director of Accenture’s digital business unit in the UK & Ireland, delivering digital transformation programmes to a range of large consumer-facing businesses. Prior to this she worked internationally in a number of roles, including CEO of Datapoint, a private equity-backed company delivering customer relationship management services.
Sarah said: “Firstly I want to thank everyone across the water and wastewater sector for their absolute dedication and service in these challenging times. I am delighted to be joining Thames Water, a business that clearly plays an essential role in London and the Thames Valley and which has such a strong sense of public value. I look forward to working with the team to deliver a service that delights our customers, create a company where our colleagues are proud to work and build a business that is recognised for making a positive contribution to the communities we serve and the environment around us.”
Ian Marchant will continue in his position as interim executive chairman until Sarah joins the company, at which point he will revert back to his role as chairman of Thames Water.