Pennon Board

The Board of Directors comprises four Non-executive Directors (including the Chairman) and two Executive Directors.

All of the Non-executive Directors are considered to have the appropriate skills, experience in their respective disciplines and personality to bring independent and objective judgement to the Board's deliberations. Their biographies below demonstrate collectively a broad range of business, financial and other relevant experience.

There is a clear division of responsibilities between the roles of Chairman and the Group Chief Executive as recorded in the descriptions of the roles approved by the Board. All Directors are subject to re-election each year.


Sir John Parker - Chairman
GBE, FREng, DSc (Eng), ScD (Hon), DSc (Hon), DUniv (Hon), FRINA

Sir John was appointed to the Board as Deputy Chairman on 1 April 2015 and became Chairman on 1 August 2015. 

He is also chairman of the Nomination Committee.

Sir John will be standing down from the Board after the AGM on 31 July 2020.

Sir John is a highly experienced and independent chairman and brings a wealth of leadership experience across a range of industries. He is widely recognised for his policy work on the value of diversity in the boardroom, having chaired the Government’s review on Ethnic Diversity on UK Boards in 2017. Prior to that, he was a member of the Davies Committee – Women on Boards. He has chaired six FTSE100 companies and was previously the chairman of Anglo American plc and National Grid plc, senior non-executive director and chair of the Court of the Bank of England, senior non-executive director of the Cabinet Office board, deputy chairman of DP World, joint chair of Mondi and chair of BVT and P&O plc. He was also president of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2011 to 2014 and is a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford. 

External appointments

Sir John is the chairman of construction and engineering company Laing O'Rourke. He is also a non-executive director of Carnival PLC and Carnival Corporation and is a senior adviser to Spencer Stuart.

Chris Loughlin - Chief Executive Officer
BSc Hons, MICE, CEng, MBA

Chris was appointed to the Board on 1 August 2006 upon joining Pennon as Chief Executive of South West Water. He became the Group Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2016. Chris is chairman of the Pennon Executive and a member of the Sustainability Committee. Chris also serves as Managing Director of South West Water.

Chris will be standing down from the Board after the AGM on 31 July 2020.

Chris has extensive experience of the regulated business environment and the management of major engineering and infrastructure services. He started his career as a chartered engineer working in both the consulting and contracting sectors and, after holding a number of senior positions with British Nuclear Fuels plc, joined its board as an executive director. Prior to joining Pennon he was chief operating officer with Lloyds Register and before that executive chairman of Magnox Electric plc. He was also a senior diplomat in the British Embassy, Tokyo.

Chris has a comprehensive understanding of the water industry. He was previously a board member (and, for a period, president) of the Institute of Water, and between April 2008 and March 2012 was chairman of Water UK. 

An enthusiastic advocate of local business, Chris was previously the vice-chairman of the Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership.

External appointments

Chris is currently chairman of British Water and of Reall Limited, a director of Water UK and a director of Mears Group PLC.

Susan Davy - Group Chief Financial Officer
BSc Hons, ACA

Susan will be appointed Chief Executive Officer on 31 July 2020, having served as Pennon’s Chief Financial Officer for the previous five years. She is a member of the Sustainability Committee and the Pennon Executive.

Susan was appointed to the Board as Chief Financial Officer in February 2015, having joined the Group as Finance Director of South West Water in 2007. Her knowledge of the industry, coupled with her financial and regulatory expertise, has underpinned the development of Pennon’s strategy which has included the value creating acquisition of Bournemouth Water in 2015 and the successful Viridor disposal process, both of which she has led. In her 25 years’ experience in the utility sector, Susan has also held a number of other senior roles in the water sector, including at Yorkshire Water.

Under her guidance South West Water is the only water company to have achieved fast-track status for two consecutive business plans – the first in 2014, the second in 2019.

Susan’s knowledge of the industry, coupled with her financial and regulatory expertise has supported the development of Pennon’s strategy and her input has been invaluable to the Board in its deliberations. Susan is highly respected in the City and has been instrumental in building Pennon’s reputation.

External appointments

Susan is chair of the CBI South West council, Non-executive Director and Audit chair of Restore plc and a member of the A4S (Accounting for Sustainability) CFO leadership network.


Paul Boote - Group Finance Director*

*from 31 July 2020

BSc Hons, FCA

Paul was appointed to the Board on 8 July 2020 and will take up his position as Group Finance Director on 31 July 2020. He is a member of the Sustainability Committee and the Pennon Executive.

Paul is a chartered accountant with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of industries, with the last 10 years of his experience gained at Pennon.

Paul has held a number of senior roles at Pennon and most recently has been Pennon’s Director of Treasury, Tax and Group Finance. During this time he was responsible for the development of Pennon’s sector-leading sustainable debt portfolio, ensuring the Group maintains a responsible approach to tax, as well as leading on financial reporting matters. Over the past year, Paul has been instrumental in the development and successful implementation of the Group’s recent strategic review. Since 2014 he has been a regular attendee at Audit Committee meetings, where his support and contribution to discussions is highly valued. Paul holds a number of directorships with Group subsidiary companies and is a key member of the executive Finance Committee which, in his new role, he now chairs.

Prior to joining Pennon, Paul held senior finance roles at companies operating in the sport, construction and environmental infrastructure industries.

Paul’s knowledge of the Group and relationships with key external stakeholders, coupled with his corporate finance and financial reporting experience, provides continuity to the Board as the Group evolves through this strategic review period.


Gill Rider - Senior Independent Non-executive Director

Gill was appointed to the Board on 1 September 2012. She will take over as Chair following the AGM on 31 July 2020, when Sir John Parker stands down from the Board.

Gill was the senior independent director of Charles Taylor plc until its sale in January 2020.

Gill has a wealth of experience in leadership, governance and remuneration across a broad range of sectors including professional services, education not for profit and government. 

Formerly, she was head of the Civil Service Capability Group in the Cabinet Office, reporting to the Cabinet Secretary and prior to that held a number of senior positions with Accenture LLP culminating in the post of chief leadership officer for the global firm. She was previously president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and chair of the council of the University of Southampton.

External appointments

Gill is currently a non-executive director of Intertek Group plc where she is also chairman of their remuneration committee. In addition to her PLC roles, Gill is also the President of the Marine Biological Association.



Jon Butterworth - Independent Non-Executive Director
MBE, MSc, FIod

Jon was appointed to the Board on 8 July 2020. He is a member of the Audit, Remuneration, Nomination and Sustainability Committees. Jon is also the independent scrutineer of health and safety processes across the Group to help ensure that these are robust and effective.

Jon has a distinguished track record within the utility industry, having started his career over 40 years ago in British Gas as an apprentice technician and subsequently progressing through a variety of senior leadership roles spanning Construction, Asset Management, Regulation and Operations.  As the Managing Director of North West Gas and subsequently the National Operations Director in National Grid, Jon was accountable for the United Kingdom Gas Emergency Service, all construction and field operation before taking on the role of Global Director of Safety, Sustainability & Resilience. Jon is currently the Chief Executive Officer of National Grid Ventures (NGV) and a member of the National Grid Plc Executive committee, providing direction and leadership to a sizeable portfolio of gas and electricity assets, both onshore and offshore, across the US and Europe in addition to 9 million metering customers applying strategic thinking and commerciality to ensure continued growth and profitability.

Jon’s utility background provides him with an immense depth of knowledge and experience of the importance of maintaining a balance between profit and safety and constructively challenges the Board and management to constantly raise the bar in this area.

Jon is passionate about corporate and social responsibility and was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to Britain’s Gas Industry. He was instrumental in the Government’s Rehabilitation of Young Offenders programme and has dedicated over 10 years to Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB).

External appointments

Jon is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and is also chairman of North Sea Link, NEMO Link, BritNed Netherlands, Interconnectors Holding Ltd, National Grid Metering, Ex-Chairman of CORGI Board, Ex-Ambassador of the HM Young Offenders Programme and a trustee of the National Gas Museums Trust.


Neil Cooper - Independent Non-executive Director BSc Hons, FCMA

Neil was appointed to the Board on 1 September 2014. He is chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration, Nomination and Sustainability Committees.

Neil will take over from Gill Rider as the Senior Independent Director on 31 July 2020.

Neil brings to the Board extensive experience in a wide variety of corporate and financial matters. He is currently the chief financial officer of Currencies Direct, a foreign exchange broker and international payment provider. Previously, he was group finance director of Barratt Developments plc and, before that, group finance director of William Hill plc and Bovis Homes plc. He also held senior finance positions at Whitbread plc, worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant and held a number of roles with Reckitt & Colman plc.

As chairman of the Audit Committee, Neil has been influential in directing Pennon’s approach on a number of significant matters including internal control, governance and financial reporting.

External appointments

Executive Director, Currencies Direct

Iain Evans – Independent Non-Executive Director

Iain was appointed to the Board on 1 September 2018. He is chairman of the Sustainability Committee a member of the Audit, Nomination and Remuneration Committees.

Iain has 40 years of extensive global experience in advising companies and governments on issues of complex corporate strategy. In 1983 he co-founded L.E.K. Consulting in London and built it into one of the world's largest and most respected corporate strategy consulting firms with a global footprint active in a wide range of industries.

Iain was appointed as a non-executive director of Welsh Water plc in 1989 and served on the board for nearly ten years, including five years as chairman.

As chairman of the Sustainability Committee, Iain is leading Pennon’s development of a sustainability programme that underpins the delivery of Pennon’s strategy.

External appointments

Iain is a non-executive director of Bologna Topco Limited and continues to act as an independent corporate strategy consultant.



Claire Ighodaro - Independent Non-Executive Director
CBE, BSc Hons, FCMA, DUniv (Hon)

Claire was appointed to the Board on 1 September 2019. She was appointed chair of the Remuneration Committee in July 2020 and is also a member of the Audit, Nomination and Sustainability Committees.

Claire has held a number of senior roles and directorships of UK and International organisations and has extensive board experience of serving on audit and governance committees. In May 2019, she stepped down from Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch International Board having served the maximum term. Claire is a past president of CIMA and was the first woman to lead this organisation. She spent most of her executive career with BT plc and has also held non-executive directorships across a diverse portfolio including audit committee chair of Lloyd’s of London, The Open University and various UK public bodies including UK Trade & Investment and the British Council.

She was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to business. A board level mentor, with Savile Group, from 2009-14, she has also helped executives transitioning into non-executive roles.

As chair of the Remuneration Committee Claire will continue to steer Pennon’s approach on executive remuneration, ensuring that it is aligned with and supports the Group’s strategy.

External appointments

Claire is non-executive chairman of Axa XL UK entities and non-executive director of Flood Re, where she is also chair of the audit committee.