Stewart for corporate role at National Grid

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.

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

water shortages.



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

board.



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

knowledge.



I have worked at four other companies at board level. At Yorkshire Water

I faced some very difficult issues and had direct interface with

customers.



Though National Grid is one step removed from customers I will face some

interesting challenges.’



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.



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