Severn Trent executive is youngest female FTSE boss

A 38-year-old BT executive is to become the youngest female FTSE 100 boss by taking over as head of water company Severn Trent

Severn Trent new CEO Liv Garfield
Severn Trent new CEO Liv Garfield

A 38-year-old BT executive is to become the youngest female FTSE 100 boss by taking over as head of water company Severn Trent.

Liv Garfield, who has described herself as a “working mum of two kids”, was lured to the utility giant with a pay package worth up to £2.4 million after two-and-a-half years in charge of the telecoms giant’s Openreach division, overseeing its £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre broadband.

She is to take up the role when current boss Tony Wray retires next spring, adding to the still tiny proportion of top-flight London-listed businesses headed by women.

The tally currently stands at three. Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts is due to leave by the middle of next year but it looks likely that Royal Mail’s Moya Greene will join the list as the newly-privatised company is expected to join the FTSE 100.

Carolyn McCall of easyJet and Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco also head companies in the group.

Cambridge-educated Ms Garfield, originally from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, is also a non-executive director of Tesco.

She described herself as a “working mum of two kids” with “a busy day job” in a Daily Telegraph interview earlier this year.

At Severn Trent she will be paid a basic salary of £650,000 and also receive a pension contribution of 25%, equalling £162,500.

Her maximum annual bonus of 120% would be £780,000.

Details of her pay package at BT were not available though her new employers said she would be enrolled in a long-term incentive plan to help meet the loss of a deferred cash bonus she forfeited by leaving the telecoms company.

Ms Garfield said: “I am really looking forward to joining Severn Trent. It is a leader in an industry going through significant change and has, at its heart, a commitment to serving its customers well.”

Chairman Andrew Duff said: “We are delighted that Liv is joining us to be our next chief executive.’’

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