Press release

Preferred candidate for new Chair of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) announced

Jonson Cox has been selected as the Government's preferred candidate as the new Chair of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Following an open competition the Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman, is pleased to announce Jonson Cox has been selected as the Government’s preferred candidate to succeed Philip Fletcher as the new Chair of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat). Mr Cox was identified following a rigorous selection process which was validated by an independent assessor from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Secretary of State has invited the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing and to report on Mr Cox’s suitability for the post. This is in line with the Government’s commitment to strengthen the role of Parliament in scrutinising major public appointments.


  • Ofwat is the independent economic regulator of the water and sewerage sector in England and Wales.  Its main responsibility is to make sure that the companies provide households and business consumers with a quality service and value for money.  For more information go to:
  • The post of Ofwat Chair is a non-executive post.  Jonson Cox has had a broad ranging career across a range of industries including Royal Dutch Shell, eight years with Kelda Group plc (owner of Yorkshire Water) and over six years as CEO at Anglian Water Group Plc.  He has been Chairman at UK Coal Plc since late 2010 and will continue to serve in this role.  Jonson Cox is also Ofwat’s Water Sector Innovation Leadership Group’s Independent Chair and Non-Executive Director at Wincanton Plc.
  • Pre-appointment hearings enable select committees to take evidence from preferred candidates for major public appointments before they are appointed.  Hearings are in public and involve the select committee publishing a report setting out their views on the candidate’s suitability for the post.  Pre-appointment hearings are non-binding but Ministers will consider the committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with an appointment.
Published 3 July 2012