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Anglian Water’s Alex Plant to take up £295,000-a-year job as Scottish Water chief executive

Alex Plant will leave his director role at Anglian Water to take up the £295,000-a-year chief executive job at Scottish Water.

Mr Plant, who is also chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board, will take up the post after Douglas Millican steps down from the role on May 31 after a decade in the post.

Alex Plant, a director at Anglian Water and chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board
Alex Plant, a director at Anglian Water and chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board

Currently director of strategy and regulation at Anglian Water, Mr Plant, 52, has been at the company since 2015. Prior to that, he held roles at Royal Mail, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Civil Aviation Authority and HM Treasury, along with several non-executive director roles.

Mr Plant said: “I am hugely excited to be taking up this role in an organisation which plays such a vital role in the daily lives of so many people. I look forward to meeting the people who deliver these services, our stakeholders and the communities we serve.

“A key challenge will be taking forward the transformation work which is already under way. This will ensure that Scotland's water and waste water services continue to provide value for money and provide confidence for customers as we face some real challenges, especially around climate change.”

The Scottish Government has approved Mr Plant’s appointment.

Dame Susan Rice, who led the recruitment process for Scottish Water’s board said: “After a wide-reaching search, I’m delighted that Alex Plant will become Chief Executive of Scottish Water in June. Alex brings a unique blend of experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, and in organisations large and small. Through his very interesting career consistently runs a thread of public service and of genuine commitment to communities, customers and staff. I have no doubt that Alex will smoothly pick up where Douglas leaves off. As a strategist and an implementer, Alex is well poised to lead Scottish Water into the future.”

Scottish Water, which has five million customers, said the £295,000 salary for the role was “less than any comparable water company chief executive in Great Britain”.

Anglian Water, which serves seven million people and is the largest English water company by geographical area, came under fire in July after it emerged its chief executive, Peter Simpson, had been paid a £337,651 bonus as part of a £1.3million pay package, despite a woeful record of serious pollution incidents. It was responsible for nearly a quarter of those recorded by water companies in England in 2021, according to Environment Agency figures. Mr Simpson’s base salary for the year was £531,365.

The Combined Authority appointed Mr Plant to chair its Business Board in July 2022, to replace Austen Adams. The role pays £24,000 a year.

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