Thames Water’s director of strategic planning and investment, Sarah McMath, has been appointed as the new chief executive of the water retail market operator MOSL.

McMath has worked at Thames Water for more than 24 years in a variety of roles, having lead teams of up to 2,000 people across several technical, asset management, strategy and operational departments.

MOSL’s board has been on the hunt for a permanent chief executive since the sudden departure of Chris Scoggins In November last year.

Des Burke was appointed as interim chief executive of MOSL on 5 December 2018 and has driven the company through a “significant period of change” as it moved offices from London to Southampton.

He will depart the company at the end of May and McMath will assume her responsibilities in early June in the Southampton office.

McMath was previously managing director of water at Thames, before becoming director of strategic planning and investment in April 2018.

She started her career at Thames in the innovation team, working as a research scientist, where she completed her doctorate in environmental engineering.

McMath went on to head up the water quality team before taking on several operational and technical roles and from 2008, leading the asset management teams.

In 2011, she moved to strategy and regulation, leading the preparation and submission of Thames Water’s business plans for PR14 and held the responsibility of programme director for competition 2017 ahead of the opening of the water retail market on 1 April.

MOSL’s chair, Jim Keohane, said: “I am delighted to announce Sarah McMath’s appointment as CEO. We are excited by Sarah’s extensive experience in driving change and innovation in the water industry and her proven track record in strategic business planning. We know she will be an invaluable asset to MOSL as we head into the third year of the market and as we look to deliver an ambitious programme of work throughout 2019/20.

“In welcoming Sarah, myself and the MOSL team would also like to take the opportunity to offer our genuine thanks to MOSL’s outgoing interim CEO, Des Burke, for his contribution. Des has successfully driven the company through a significant period of change as we moved our office to Southampton and as we began the delivery of our 2019/20 business plan.

“His leadership, drive and energy has been central to MOSL developing a strong culture of continuous improvement, which has put us in a healthy position to grow as an organisation and as a market operator.”

McMath added: “I am delighted to be appointed MOSL’s new chief executive and am greatly looking forward to joining MOSL at this pivotal time for the organisation and the market it operates.”

Keohane has written to MOSL members to advise them of the new appointment.

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