Severn Trent boss becomes 4th FTSE female

Liv Garfield said it was a 'tough decision' to quit BT. Picture: PA
Liv Garfield said it was a 'tough decision' to quit BT. Picture: PA
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BRITAIN’S top-flight share index now has four female chief executives after a 38-year-old BT boss took over as head of water giant Severn Trent.

Liv Garfield, who most recently spearheaded BT’s £2.5 billion super-fast broadband rollout, will take up the new job in the spring.

She joins Alison Cooper at Imperial Tobacco, EasyJet’s Carolyn McCall and Angela Ahrendts at Burberry as the fourth woman chief executive in the benchmark FTSE 100 index. Ahrendts is due to join Apple next year but Moya Greene, who runs Royal Mail, may well see her newly listed company promoted to the top flight when the index is reviewed next month.

Garfield, who has described herself as a “working mum of two kids”, will become the youngest of those female chief executives.

Analysts said her move to Severn, which has 4.2 million customers, was a blow for BT, where she held several top positions, including head of strategy. Garfield said: “It has been a tough decision, but I leave [BT] Openreach in fantastic shape and have every confidence it will continue to thrive.”

She will be paid a basic salary of £650,000 at the water group and a pension contribution of 25 per cent, equalling £162,500. Her maximum annual bonus of 120 per cent would be £780,000.

She will be enrolled in a long-term incentive plan to help meet the loss of a deferred cash bonus she forfeited by leaving BT.