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
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
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
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.