NI Water: Another Chief Executive resignation?

The BBC’s Jim Fitzpatrick reports that NI Water Chief Executive, Trevor Haslett, has “signalled that he wants to leave and return to private consultancy”.  Haslett has been in the post for almost 10 months, after stepping into the vacancy caused by the defenestration of former Chief Executive Lawrence MacKenzie.  From the BBC report

NI Water was created as a state-owned company in 2004 with Ms Bryan at the helm and its structure suggested that it would ultimately be privatised.

But the devolved government took a different view and the company has since been reformed as a non-departmental public body which means it falls under the control of the Department of Regional Development.

Previous boss Mr MacKenzie drew criticism for his level of pay, at £250,000. It is understood that Mr Haslett receives much less than that, closer to £130,000.

This disparity may make it more attractive for Mr Haslett to work in private consulting.

The pay cap – along with the perception of political interference – may also make it harder for Northern Ireland Water to recruit a new chief executive from outside the company.  [added emphasis]

NI Water denied that Mr Haslett had resigned, but said discussions with him on his future were ongoing.

Interestingly, Mick noted at the time that

The Board is recommending that Trevor Hazlett, a civil engineer with 30 years experience at NI Water (and direct responsibility for industrial procurement), as MacKenzie’s replacement. Hazlett is a highly respected member of staff, but has no board level experience. It remains to be seen whether he has the capacity to step up two rungs in one go.

According to the NI Water website – which lists him as still “Acting Chief Executive”

Trevor worked for DRD Water Service for almost 30 years prior to the inception of Northern Ireland Water in 2007. He has held senior posts in Operations and Engineering and also worked in the private sector as Director of a civil engineering contracting company working throughout the UK.

Since his appointment we’ve had the PAC report, threats of legal action, and the semi-return of Mr Priestly.

Hmm… Resignation?  Or hard-nosed negotiation?

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