Ofwat chief quits

Ofwat chief executive, Cathryn Ross, has resigned after four years in the post. She will leave the regulator at the end of the year to take up “a senior position in the private sector unconnected with the water industry.”

Ross (pictured) said “I know I will be leaving Ofwat in good shape,” and added “I look forward to finalising the PR19 methodology before I leave.”

Ofwat said the recruitment of her successor was underway and further information for interested applicants was available on its website.


Ofwat will undoubtedly feel Ross’ loss. She is a highly regarded and respected figure and has shaped Ofwat for the better during her tenure, culturally as much as anything.

The key question for the industry now is what impact Ross’ departure will have on PR19. The final methodology will be published before she leaves so the fundamental building blocks of the review will be in place. Moreover, David Black is understood to the be chief architect of the methodology, so we can expect continuity while he remains in post.

Nevertheless, Ross’ exit is inevitably destabilising, and it will be her successor’s team that has the final say on the determinations.

Ofwat has until the end of the year to find a replacement and will no doubt be keenly aware that individuals with the skills and calibre needed for the job are hard to come by. Black could well end up stepping up, at least in an interim capacity. That would provide stability for companies as they work through the methodology and draw up their business plans.