Water company United Utilities is on the hunt for a new chair to lead its board of directors as John McAdam (pictured) has revealed he plans to retire from the role.

There is no timescale for when his successor will be in place as it will depend on how the search process goes, Utility Week understands.

It has been speculated McAdam will leave next year and he is also expected to relinquish his position as chair at pest control and facilities management group, Rentokil.

McAdam was appointed as a non-executive director at United Utilities in February 2008 and as chair in July 2008.

He is responsible for the leadership of the board, setting its agenda and ensuring its effectiveness.

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “In accordance with our succession planning, we have started a process for searching for a new chair, given that John has already served more than nine years on the board.”

United Utilities says on its website that everyone on its board has been chosen on the basis of their “experience and expertise,” as well as their “commitment to achieving the very best results for United Utilities and its customers.”

The board of directors develop policies and strategies to be implemented by the executive team. Steve Mogford the company’s chief executive is tasked with managing the group’s business and to implement the strategy and polices approved by the board.

McAdam is listed as having more than 19 years’ service as a board director in a “wide range” of companies. He is also a current non-executive director serving on several other boards and across different sectors.

He was appointed to the board of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1999 and became chief executive in 2003, a position held until ICI’s takeover by Akzo Nobel.

Other roles have included: senior independent director at Sainsbury’s; non-executive director of Rolls-Royce Holdings until May 2017; and senior independent director at Electra Private Equity until 1 March 2018.

His current directorships and business interests include being chair of FTSE-100 companies United Utilities and Rentokil. He was appointed non-executive and senior independent director of Cobham on 1 August 2017.