PN 08/13: Ofwat appoints new Chief Executive


24 July 2013

The Board of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) is pleased to announce the appointment of Cathryn Ross as its next Chief Executive.

Cathryn Ross is currently Executive Director of Markets and Economics at the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). She is expected to take up her appointment at Ofwat on 14 October, having completed the current rail regulatory review, which she is currently leading. Ofwat and the ORR are working collaboratively to allow Cathryn to complete her obligations to ORR and to facilitate her induction into Ofwat taking place as early as possible.

Cathryn is an experienced regulatory economist, has served with the Competition Commission, and has held board-level positions at the Office of Rail Regulation, and previously at Ofwat. She was Director of Markets and Economics at Ofwat between 2008 and 2011.

Jonson Cox, Chairman of Ofwat said:

“We are delighted to welcome Cathryn to Ofwat to lead our executive. I look forward to working with her and believe that she will bring a strong team focus to Ofwat. Cathryn’s first priorities will include refocusing the future direction and management process of Ofwat. This is a critical time for Ofwat as we undertake the Periodic Review 2014 and Cathryn’s arrival as CEO will be welcome and timely.”

Cathryn Ross said:

“I am very pleased to be returning to Ofwat at this key time. I am looking forward to working with Ofwat’s board, staff and stakeholders to ensure the success of the current periodic review and the development of a new model for water regulation.”

The Board of Ofwat will propose the appointment of Cathryn to its board to the Secretary of State for Defra. Cathryn will also take the role of Accounting Officer for Ofwat.

Separately, the Board confirms that following recent new appointments to the Ofwat Board, it has reviewed its board committee structure. In particular, Wendy Barnes will become Chair of the Audit Committee, Martin Lawrence will take over as Chair of the Remuneration Committee and Jonson Cox will lead a Nominations and Governance Committee. A number of additional committees have been created to deal with casework, PR14, and the Open Water programme.


Notes to Editors


  1. The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) is the economic regulator of water and sewerage companies 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.
  2. The Terms of Reference of Board committees are available on . The new (and updated) terms of reference will be available shortly.
  3. The UK government has committed to enabling the creation of a new market for retail water and sewerage services to non-household customers in England. The ambition is to open the new retail market in April 2017. Steered by a High Level Group, the Open Water programme will drive the implementation of these reforms. Further details of the Open Water programme are available on
  4. Media enquiries to Ofwat Press Office on:
    Benedict Fisher 0121 644 7642 / [email protected]
    Harbinder Babra 0121 644 7616 / [email protected]