About Us

Our Executive Committee

  • Estelle Brachlianoff
    Estelle Brachlianoff Senior Executive Vice-President UK & Ireland Estelle Brachlianoff leads our combined water, waste and energy business in the UK & Ireland.

    She was appointed to this role in September 2012 and also sits on the Veolia Executive Committee.

    Estelle joined the Veolia group in 2005 as Special Advisor to the CEO of Waste Management. Prior to her current position, she was in charge of Waste Management in the Greater Paris area and also the Facility Management and Cleaning Services branch.

    She started her career heading a team managing major infrastructure projects and constructing highways and tramways within the Val D’Oise region of Greater Paris. She was then appointed as Advisor to the regional government in Greater Paris responsible for transport and development.

    Estelle was elected as President of the French Chamber of Great Britain, the largest Foreign Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

    She heads up the Environment Leadership Team for Business in the Community (BITC) and sits on the Infrastructure Board and President’s Committee of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

    Estelle was awarded the CBI’s’ First Women Business of the Year’ Award in 2014 and was knighted from the French National Order of Merit in 2015.

    Estelle is married and has two children.
  • Celia Gough
    Celia Gough Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary

    As Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, Celia has overall responsibility for all legal and governance matters for Veolia and its 14,000 employees across the UK and manages our Legal and Company Secretarial team. She also works closely with colleagues in the Veolia legal function in Paris to manage legal risks and governance.

    Her team is structured so that each business unit has a nominated lawyer as a point of contact. Members of the team also have particular expertise in a number of legal specialisms.

    Celia also chairs the Veolia UK Risk Committee and is a director of a number of our group companies.

    After studying economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, Celia trained and practised as a solicitor at Slaughter and May, where she specialised in corporate law. She joined Veolia in 2008, initially as Senior Corporate Counsel for our water operations. 

    Celia is a Freeman of the Drapers’ Company and of the City of London.

  • David Gerrard
    David Gerrard Chief Financial Officer Having trained and qualified with Ernst & Young in Manchester, David spent 12 years with McDonalds, moving to its London headquarters in 1992. He was promoted to UK Group Accountant and then MD for its wholly owned subsidiary, Aroma Limited. David then went on to hold the position of Finance Director with Aramark (US owned), a significant player in the contract catering and managed services industry. 

    David joined Veolia as Chief Financial Officer in 2004 and instigated the opening of our UK Finance Shared Service Centre at Kingswood which has also now been recognised as an Institute of Credit Management Centre of Excellence.

    During his career at Veolia, David has also had responsibility for the procurement and legal functions and within the UK finance function ensured the UK was an early adopter of AGORA, the Veolia Environnement worldwide SAP finance application.

    David was chairman of the London Panel of the Veolia Environmental Trust until 2013 and is a fellow of the ACCA – the global body for professional accountants.
  • Gavin Graveson
    Gavin Graveson Chief Operating Officer – Public and Commercial

    As Veolia’s Chief Operating Officer – Public and Commercial in the UK, Gavin is responsible for our municipal and collection services as well as our treatment and landfill operations. This includes our extensive PFI/PPP network, which consists of thirteen major waste and recycling infrastructure contracts nationwide – the largest recycling and waste portfolio of its kind in the UK.

    He also has overall responsibility for the management of our 3,000 strong vehicle fleet which includes workshops, local fleet maintenance, best practice and cost control.

    Gavin spent his early career with the company in commercial services before going on to become Managing Director of our Hampshire integrated contract. He was also a key player in the Project Integra partnership, something that is now considered a benchmark for successful UK waste management.

    Gavin is a strong leader with considerable organisational and motivational skills. He first made his name in the waste and recycling industry as General Manager of his family business. He attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Lancaster University, where he gained a degree in Business Studies.

  • John Abraham
    John Abraham Chief Operating Officer - Water

    As Chief Operating Officer – Water, John is responsible for implementing the company’s forward-looking new strategy for our UK water business. This focuses on maximising customer value through operational and service optimisation, as well as integrating SMART technologies to support the water industry.

    John joined Veolia in 2015 from MWH Constructors Inc. and Treatment Ltd where he was Chief Operating Officer and led Biwater Treatment through its acquisition by MWH. His leadership brings a strong track record of driving innovation and delivering business improvement and profitable growth.

    He began his 27 year career in Water as a civil engineer working predominantly in design, construction and commissioning of water and waste water capital programmes focusing on refurbishment and optimisation of existing assets.

    John is problem solver with a logical, inspirational and confident approach to tasks and challenges.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers, Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Managers (CIWEM) and graduated from the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme.

  • Kevin Hurst
    Kevin Hurst Marketing and Communications Director

    Kevin joined Veolia in 1998 and oversees all the Marketing, Communications and Corporate Responsibility activity within the UK. He is responsible for developing, protecting and raising awareness of the company's UK brand and co-ordinates cross-company communications with the wider Veolia group.

    At the same he leads our Corporate Responsibility programme that aims to go the extra mile for people, planet and performance. This is reflected in our gaining 2nd place nationwide in the Business in the Community (BitC) Corporate Responsibility Index, winning its Climate Change and Workplace Talent & Skills Awards and his own nomination as a BitC ‘Game Changer’.

    Kevin also leads our marketing team which is committed to developing new areas of our service offering through marketing analysis and support for the whole company in order to facilitate business retention and development.

  • Marguerite Ulrich
    Marguerite Ulrich HR Director


    Appointed as HR Director in April, 2013, Marguerite manages all human resource functions for the 14,000 people that we employ within the UK and Ireland including our award winning Campus Veolia training and development centre.

    Marguerite was formerly Vice-President of Human Resources for Veolia Environmental Services (Technical Solutions) in the USA. She took the lead on various business projects related to people, which included learning and development from 2006. Marguerite was also chair of the Veolia North America Diversity and Inclusion and co-initiated programmes like ‘Women in Leadership’ and ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’. 
     
    Over a career spanning 25 years, Marguerite has gained considerable experience in all facets of human resources. As HR Director she uses her breadth of knowledge and expertise to lead the One Veolia ‘HR Resourcing the World’ strategic plan, which reflects Veolia’s commitment to our people and social value.

    She is committed to promoting a safe, diverse and respectful working environment as well as is the one of executive sponsors for the ‘Leveraging people’s differences for innovative growth’ project.

  • Pat Gilroy
    Pat Gilroy C.O.O Industrial Customers UK & Country Director Veolia Ireland Pat worked as general manager of Dalkia in Ireland for two years before becoming managing Director in 2005, during the period from 2002 to 2008 the energy business grew from 14m turnover to 120m. In 2010 Pat became a director of the water business in Ireland. In 2013 he became CEO of the energy business in UK and Ireland and the Veolia country director in Ireland. In 2014 he took up the present position of COO, Industrial Customers UK and Country Director Ireland.

    Pat is an Engineering graduate of University of Dublin, Trinity College.  He previously held roles in the ESB, Amdahl Ireland Ltd and EEL FM Ltd, before heading up FP2, which was sold to Dalkia, Veolia’s then Energy division, in 2001.

    Pat is an active contributor to the community on a number of levels and has a keen interest in ideas that work to enhance performance culture in both the workplace and in the sporting arena. A former President of the Ireland France Chamber of Commerce Pat‘s significant experience in the energy sector and in the world-leading company in environmental services brings key insight to his role as Secretary of the Energy Institute in Ireland and as a Board Member of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).  Pat is also a member of the IBEC National Council and is currently contributing to a Consultative Committee on Jobs in the Green Economy.

    Married to Yvonne, with whom he has four children, when he is not at work Pat can often be spotted out and about on the Gaelic football pitch.  He won an All-Ireland medal for Dublin in 1995 and during his time as Manager, helped the Dublin Senior Gaelic football team to All Ireland success.  
  • Richard Kirkman
    Richard Kirkman Technical Director Richard was appointed Technical Director in February 2013, after previously being Head of Technology. In this role he is responsible for the planning and construction of new infrastructure to which the company is committed to a £1 billion investment between 2012 and 2018.  He also oversees the administration of commodities, such as energy (electricity and heat) and materials (recyclables and compost). 
     
    Richard’s technology team is focused on five main areas, namely thermal development, fuel and energy, MRF recycling, biological treatments and ‘best in class’ sector innovation.  He has also led the introduction of new technology across our PFI/PPP infrastructure.  
     
    Major initiatives include our new Southwark recycling facility which incorporates our first UK MBT recycling plant and the opening of pioneering treatment facilities in the West Midlands (Street Washings) Rainham, (Plastics Recovery) and Fareham (Solid Fuel Recovery).  
     
    During his career with Veolia he has made a number of appearances on national radio and television explaining the latest developments in waste treatment technology including BBC Radio 4, BBC Breakfast and BBC Country File.
     
    Richard is an environmental engineer and joined the Veolia group via Dalkia in 1994, heading up European Research & Development after gaining operational experience in its municipal and commercial energy recovery operations.
  • Robert Hunt
    Robert Hunt Chief Corporate Officer

    Robert is our UK Chief Corporate Officer for Veolia in the UK and is responsible for key corporate services. He heads up our Shared Service Centre which also includes water and energy.

    After studying law at Pembroke College, Oxford, Robert trained as a solicitor in the City of London. Specialising in projects and corporate law, he joined Veolia Environmental Services as General Counsel before moving to Veolia Transport in Paris as International Projects and Legal Director. He re-joined the company as Executive Director in April 2011.

    Robert champions the idea of developing smarter ways of working that optimise resources and create a sustainable future.  As designated sector champion for the environment he is leading in Defra’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ which is focused on ensuring environmental regulations affecting business are fit for purpose.