PN 04/12 Ofwat welcomes preferred candidate as new Chair

3 July 2012

Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, with the agreement of John Griffiths AM for the Welsh Government, has today nominated Jonson Cox as the next Non-Executive Chair of Ofwat.

The appointment is subject to a pre-appointment hearing with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) select committee. Mr Cox would succeed Philip Fletcher, Ofwat’s Director General from 2000 to 2006 and its first Chairman from 2006, in the autumn.

Commenting on the announcement, Philip Fletcher said:

“I am delighted at this announcement. Jonson has wide experience both in the water sector and elsewhere and I know this has given him a great understanding of the challenges the sector faces – including rising consumer expectations, increasing population and the potential impacts of climate change on water resources.

“When the current process is concluded, his experience would be invaluable to Ofwat in meeting the challenge of ensuring the sector delivers excellent service for customers and plays its crucial role in delivering on the Government’s policy for the sector.”

Jonson Cox said:

“I am delighted to be considered for this role and I look forward to the final conclusion of the process in due course. The water sector provides a vital and essential public service. Ensuring that customers receive a reliable and outstanding level of service while keeping bills as low as possible is important especially in these difficult economic times.

At the same it is important to maintain stability, resilience and a drive for efficiency in the water sector. I look forward to these challenges and to helping to put into effect the aspirations in the Government’s Water White Paper.”

Mr Cox has more than 30 years’ experience, across a range of business sectors, including a decade at a senior level in the water and sewerage sector – most recently as Group CEO of AWG plc (later Anglian Water Group) between 2004–2010.

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      1. Jonson Cox has been announced as the preferred candidate for Chair of Ofwat by Defra today. The announcement can be found on www.defra.gov.uk/news/
      2. Biography of Jonson CoxJonson Cox has more than 30 years’ business experience across a range of sectors, including energy, business services and logistics. In particular, he has extensive experience of senior management within the water industry.

        He was Managing Director of Yorkshire Water from 1996 to 2000 and Group CEO of AWG plc (later Anglian Water Group) from 2004 to 2010. In 2005 Mr Cox was invited to be a founder member of the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group, a panel of CEOs advising the UK Government on Climate Change. He also served on the Water Industry Review Group on Flooding.

        He served for a short period as Chief Operating Officer of Railtrack, and was Chief Executive of Valpak, a business service provider to the major UK retailers. In his early career he had a number of management roles within the Royal Dutch / Shell Group. Since late 2010, he has been Chairman of UK Coal, the UK’s major coal producer and brownfield property developer. He serves as a Non-Executive Director of Wincanton plc, the UK logistics company.

      3. Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales. It exercises its powers in a way that it judges will protect the interests of consumers, promote value and safeguard future water and sewerage services by allowing efficient companies to carry out their functions properly, and finance them.
      4. Media enquiries to Ofwat Press Office on:
        Benedict Fisher 0121 644 7642 / [email protected]
        Harbinder Babra 0121 644 7616 / [email protected]
        Simon Markall 0121 644 7696 / [email protected]
      5. Media enquiries on Jonson’s previous employment to:

Anthony Cardew 020 7930 0777 / 07770 720 389 /

[email protected]