Margaret Stewart, Yorkshire Water’s director of corporate affairs,
is leaving the company to become director of corporate affairs at
electricity supply network National Grid.
The vacancy at National Grid arose following the departure of Peter
Gavan to engineering group BTR earlier this year (PR Week, 20 Mar).
Stewart arrived at Yorkshire Water three years ago from Eastern
Electricity while the company was at the centre of a public outcry over
Her role at Yorkshire Water, which involves responsibility for 14
communications staff, will be assumed by her current deputy Alan Smith
following her departure in September.
At National Grid, which controls the UK’s electricity transmission
network, Stewart will head a communications team of 18. She will occupy
a place on its group executive committee, although not on its full plc
Stewart will report to chief executive David Jones and work with its
agency Dewe Rogerson.
Stewart said: ’National Grid wants me to offer my utilities sector
I have worked at four other companies at board level. At Yorkshire Water
I faced some very difficult issues and had direct interface with
Though National Grid is one step removed from customers I will face some
Stewart will join FTSE-100 company National Grid as it aims to diversify
both overseas and in the UK. This follows the successful flotation of
its telecoms company Energis, of which it still owns 74 per cent.
National Grid has interests in Argentina and Zambia and is currently
exploring investment opportunities in the US. Its turnover for the year
to 31 March was pounds 1.6 billion with profits of pounds 467 million,
excluding an extra pounds 107 million profit from the sale of part of
its Energis holding.
The company has survived the Windfall tax and regulatory commitments
which mean it has to cut electricity costs annually. The introduction of
cost-cutting measures has helped the company return healthy profits.