Press Releases 2007

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News Release 01/2007 - Utility chief outlines his views on improving company performance at Edinburgh lecture

27 March 2007

Philip Green, Chief Executive of the multi-billion pound business - United Utilities - will tonight, Tuesday 27 March 2007, give an insight as to how companies can improve their performance to become market leaders, at the fifth annual ‘Comiston Lecture’ at The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The lecture series is hosted by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland – regulator of Scottish Water – and will be attended by top industry representatives and other stakeholders.

In his lecture, ‘Improving performance – from vision to reality’, Green will explain how he has used clarity of vision, clear performance measures and targets, and supporting values to transform major companies. He will also discuss how he is applying his experience in leading United Utilities during a time of significant environmental and regulatory change.

Sir Ian Byatt, Chairman of the Water Industry Commission, said:

“We are delighted that Philip Green, an acknowledged business leader, is giving this year’s Comiston lecture. He has extensive experience in managing large corporations and we look forward to hearing Philip’s experiences in bringing about positive change.”

Leading UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, which works closely with WICS, is sponsoring the lecture series.


  1. Philip Green’s speech will be available after the event on the Commission’s website:

  2. The Comiston lecture was established in 2003 by the then Water Industry Commissioner. Previous speakers have included Lord Burns (Chairman of Glas Cymru), Colin Skellet (Chairman of Wessex Water), Jonson Cox (Chief Executive AWG Plc) and Sir Ian Byatt (Water Industry Commission).

  3. Philip Green became Chief Executive of United Utilities PLC in February 2006. United Utilities is one of the largest utility (water, gas, and electricity) companies in the UK, ranked mid-way in the FTSE100, with a market cap of approximately £6bn. Philip was previously CEO of P&O Nedlloyd Container Line Limited and Chief Operating Officer of Reuters Group Plc.

  4. The Water Industry Commission monitors Scottish Water’s financial, investment and customer service performance, and has the statutory duty to determine price limits based on the lowest reasonable cost of achieving ministerial objectives for the water industry.

  5. The Water Industry Commission was appointed in July 2005, under the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act. Its members are Sir Ian Byatt, formerly Deputy Chief Economic Adviser at the Treasury and Director General of Water Services in England and Wales; Professor John K Banyard OBE, former Director of Asset Management at Severn Trent Plc; Dr Mike Brooker, formerly Managing Director of Dwr Cymru; Mr Charles Coulthard, Chair of the Gas and Electricity Consumers Council in Scotland and formerly Managing Director of Ofgem in Scotland; Professor David Simpson, formerly economic adviser to Standard Life; and Mr Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive, formerly Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland.

  6. Shepherd and Wedderburn is a leading UK law firm, with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. With 57 partners and 550 staff, the firm provides a full range of legal services to corporate, commercial, public sector and private clients throughout the UK and abroad.

For further information please call Katherine Russell, Director of Corporate Affairs, on 01786 430200.

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