Severn Trent Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest publicly traded water company, today named Liv Garfield of BT Group Plc as its new chief executive officer to replace Tony Wray next spring on his retirement.
Garfield headed BT’s Openreach unit that rolled out a 2.5 billion-pound ($4 billion) fiber broadband network. She becomes one of four female FTSE 100 Index CEOs with Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, Carolyn McCall at EasyJet Plc and Angela Ahrendts at the U.K.’s largest luxury company Burberry Group Plc, who is leaving in mid-year to join Apple Inc.
Garfield, 38, will be joining a Coventry-based company named for two of Britain’s biggest rivers that last June rejected as too low a 5.3 billion-pound takeover offer led by Canada’s Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc.
“It is a huge wrench to leave Openreach but I feel the time is now right to take on a fresh challenge,” Garfield said in a statement. “BT has been a terrific employer, giving me lots of room to grow and develop my business skills.”
Since Garfield became Openreach boss in 2011, the availability of fiber over the network of the biggest U.K. phone company has risen more than fourfold to 17 million households.