After 12 years leading the transformation of the Warrington-based firm, Steve Mogford has expressed his wish to step down and retire from the board early next year.
He will be succeeded by Louise Beardmore, the company's current customer service and people director, but he will continue to lead United Utilities until his retirement, working with, and supported by, Louise.
To enable a smooth transition, Louise will join the Boards of United Utilities Group PLC and United Utilities Water Limited as CEO designate on May 1. She will lead the creation of the company's PR24 business plan, covering the next five year regulatory period.
The company said that Louise had extensive utilities experience, working in both regulated and non-regulated environments in the UK and internationally and brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership capability.
Steve said: “It has been a real honour to lead such a wonderful team that has succeeded on so many fronts. We're acutely aware of the important role we play within our North West community and Louise embodies all of the values to which we aspire.
"With her boundless energy and commitment, I have no doubt she will lead United Utilities to even greater success.”
Louise said: "I am privileged to have been asked to lead an organisation that cares passionately about the essential service we deliver to seven million people in the North West.
"I look forward to working with the team to ensure we continue to provide the service and results our customers and stakeholders deserve and expect; a business where colleagues are proud to work and an organisation that is recognised as delivering for all communities in our region.”