RWE Thames Water picks Aylard for top comms job

RWE Thames Water has merged its group marketing and communications functions in the wake of the departure of its PR chief and marketing director.

The group has appointed divisional CSR director Richard Aylard to the new role of director of external affairs.

Aylard, a former adviser to the Prince of Wales, joined Thames Water in 2002 from Burson-Marsteller, and now takes on the responsibilities of former divisional communications director Sandy Henney and ex-worldwide director of marketing and strategy Mike Moran.

Henney left in May (PRWeek, 7 May) and has moved to Spain while Moran was made redundant and left at the end of September.

Under Thames’s new structure, Aylard will head comms with four direct reports: director of corporate responsibility and environment Ed Mitchell, marketing and strategy director John Evans, head of public affairs Kathryn Oakley and a newly created head of comms.

Nick Tennant, who was previously head of media and PA, is currently acting in the latter role.

Thames Water, which has around 14.5 million customers in the UK, is in the midst of an international restructure that has seen it sell operations in China, Indonesia and Turkey.

The company is a crucial source of revenue for indebted German parent RWE.

Thames Water is also pushing for an accelerated programme to replacing Victorian water mains in London to maintain supplies to the capital’s population.

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