PN 03/21: Ofwat announces new interim Chief Executive

Ofwat today announces the appointment of David Black as its interim Chief Executive following Rachel Fletcher’s decision to take up a new role in the energy sector.

Rachel Fletcher has been Ofwat’s CEO since January 2018, and will be leaving Ofwat to take up a new leadership role with Octopus Energy.

David Black joined Ofwat in 2012 and was previously Senior Director and Board member responsible for leading the PR19 price review and is currently Chief Regulation Officer. Throughout that time he has been instrumental in shaping and leading the organisation’s efforts to push the water sector to deliver more.

Jonson Cox, Ofwat’s chair, said:

“I’m delighted to announce David as Ofwat’s interim Chief Executive, to lead us through the coming business year. David has great expertise in regulation, strong leadership skills, and real ambitions for Ofwat and the water industry. He has been integral in shaping and delivering our strategic agenda over recent years and is well placed to ensure continuity and evolution of our current strategies.

“We are very sorry to see Rachel go. She will leave with our thanks and deep appreciation for all she has achieved. Working with the leadership team Rachel helped to deliver a price review that secured huge investment and price reductions for customers, embedded a new strategy, and brought a greater focus on the customer and environmental challenges the sector must meet.”

David Black said:

“I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to lead Ofwat. There are profound challenges for the water sector – but some real opportunities too to show how water companies can improve customers’ lives, especially in these difficult times. I am looking forward to pressing ahead with delivering our strategy and guiding Ofwat and the sector to help deliver more for customers and the environment.”

Rachel Fletcher said:

“It has been a great privilege to be Ofwat’s Chief Executive over the past three years. I am proud of the partnerships the team has built and the progress we’ve made towards unlocking the full value the water industry can provide for customers, society and the environment. These strong foundations mean it is the right time for me to move on, and I am excited to have an opportunity to help the energy sector’s transition to net zero. I know David and the experienced leadership team he has around him will thrive, taking Ofwat from strength to strength.”

David Black will become interim Chief Executive at the start of April.

End

Notes to Editors

Biography of David Black

At the start of April, David Black becomes interim Chief Executive of Ofwat. He is currently Chief Regulation Officer at Ofwat and previously led the 2019 price review, securing significant investment to improve resilience and protect the environment, alongside lower bills for customers. David joined Ofwat in 2012 as Director of Economics and became a Senior Director in 2015.

Prior to joining Ofwat, David held a number of roles in economic consulting, advising on economic regulation, competition and financial economics in the communications and energy sectors. David has also been an economist at Oftel, the New Zealand Treasury and New Zealand Commerce Commission. He has a Masters degree in Economics.