Russell to join Thames Water

Jonathan Russell, currently director of UK communications for insurance company Guardian Royal Exchange, has joined Thames Water as director of corporate affairs.

Jonathan Russell, currently director of UK communications for

insurance company Guardian Royal Exchange, has joined Thames Water as

director of corporate affairs.



Russell replaces Matthew Butler, who was director of corporate

information but left earlier this year to become the communications

chief at life sciences company Nycomed Amersham.



Thames is the largest water company in England and Wales in terms of the

number of people it supplies. Russell will oversee a department of 20

and will be responsible for PR, investor relations, public affairs and

marketing at Thames Water. He will report to chief executive Bill

Alexander.



Thames Water currently retains Bell Pottinger for financial PR and

Communique for property PR.



Russell was promoted to the top PR role at Guardian Royal Exchange after

the company took over his previous employer PPP healthcare. At PPP

Russell reported to chief executive Peter Owen and organised a

restructure of the press and PR department.



He joined PPP in 1995 as head of public affairs after carrying out a

communications audit for the company while an account director at David

Burnside Associates.



Russell first worked with David Burnside at British Airways, as public

affairs manager. Burnside founded his agency when he left his job as

director of public affairs at BA in 1993 and Russell followed him.



Thames Water, a FTSE-100 company, supplies 12 million customers in

London and across the Thames Valley from Kent and Essex to the edges of

Gloucestershire.



The company has seven major international water projects in addition to

its UK business. These include contracts to supply Jakarta and Shanghai

with drinking water.



There were reports last November that the company rejected a takeover

bid for its non-regulated international businesses from French

conglomerate Generale des Eaux. This year the company won a contract to

supply water to the army, at the Ministry of Defence base at Tidworth.



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