Harbord joins on 8 November and will report to UK chief financial officer Graham Bartlett.
She replaces Isobel Hoseason, who quit to join National Grid Transco (PRWeek, 16 April).
A former head of PR at insurance firm Eagle Star, Harbord will oversee a comms team of 15 – comprising PR, internal comms and public affairs staff – as the energy industry prepares for tighter regulation.
An EU directive aimed at reducing sulphur emissions, set to take effect in 2008, means energy companies will have to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in filters, said Powergen media relations manager Jonathan Smith.
‘Forthcoming legislation means the public affairs element of the head of comms job is quite substantial,’ he added.
Harbord has been a freelance consultant over the past year, and was formerly Countrywide Porter Novelli financial services director.