Thames Water has appointed David Bird as its interim Retail Director following Warren Buckley’s decision to retire early from the business. David joined the UK’s biggest water company on 15 November 2022.
Warren has been instrumental to Thames Water’s turnaround plan, halving customer complaints during his two-year tenure. David will work closely with Warren to ensure a smooth transition period before he steps away from the business in January.
David has a wealth of experience transforming business performance through a focus on customers. He spent over a decade in the retail energy industry where he was CEO of Co-op Energy and before that the Managing Director of E.ON’s UK residential business. Most recently he was Chief Operating Officer at Biffa, the UK’s leading waste management company.
Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “Delivering brilliant customer service is top of the list as we continue to transform the business through our 8-year turnaround plan. Warren has been a driving force to improve the service our customers receive, significantly decreasing the number of complaints over his tenure.”
“I’d like to personally thank Warren for his dedication, leadership, and commitment to put customers first. We wish him the very best on his early retirement.”
Warren said: “I’m extremely proud of the part I’ve played in beginning to transform Thames Water’s customer service, representing the voice of the customer across the business. The retail team have been integral in helping me to deliver my vision and I’d like to thank them for dedication.
“I am confident that David will continue to drive the changes already put in place to deliver excellent customer experiences.”
Sarah added: “We’re delighted that David has agreed to join us as interim Retail Director whilst we seek a permanent replacement. He will take a leading role in continuing to transform customer service across the business.”
Over the years David has also worked for a range of household names including Marks & Spencer, BUPA, Vodafone, Homebase and National Express.
He has also held non-executive director roles in the NHS, Department for Education and at the Independent Police Complaints Commission and is currently an Advisor to Aston University’s Centre for Circular Economy & Advanced Sustainability.
David said: “I’m very committed to continue the journey of transforming customer service at Thames Water - a company that provides such an essential service to millions of customers across the region. I’ll be working closely with Warren over the coming two months to ensure a smooth transition and remain focused on delivering the businesses turnaround strategy.”
Warren will continue in his role as Chair of Citizens Advice, a position he took up in 2018 having served as a trustee since 2012.