Liv Garfield’s appointment at Severn Trent boosts female chief execs on FTSE100

South-west water company Severn Trent is to bolster the number of female chief executives on FTSE100 companies with the appointment of BT Openreach’s Liv Garfield.

Garfield was responsible for BT’s rollout of super fast fibre broadband and the surprise move will be considered a blow to the company.

Garfield will begin her new role at Severn Trent in Spring 2014, on a salary of £650,000, with a 25% pension contribution that will take her annual payment package to £812,500. Her £650,000 salary will also be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 120%.

Her appointment takes the number of female chief executives on FTSE100 companies up to four. The other three are Angela Ahrendts at Burberry, Carolyn McCall at easyJet and Alison Cooper at Imperial Tobacco. But the number will fall to three again when Ahrendts takes up her new role at Apple next year.

Garfield said: “It has been a tough decision but I leave Openreach in fantastic shape and have every confidence it will continue to thrive.

“Our commercial programme to bring fibre broadband to two thirds of UK premises is almost complete, whilst BT’s public sector broadband partnerships are making good progress.

“I look forward to … ensuring that Severn Trent continues to go from strength to strength, whilst delivering for all of its stakeholders.”

BT group’s chief executive, Gavin Patterson said she had made “an enormous contribution to BT”.

Severn Trent chairman Andrew Duff said: “Liv brings experience of managing customer service delivery and complex organisations in a regulated environment.

“It is a testimony to the quality of this company that we have been able to attract someone of Liv’s capabilities.”

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