Our Executive Committee

  • 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 July 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 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 in 2015 receiving the French National Order of Merit.

    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.

    Gavin is also responsible for the central Information and Security department. His digital acumen, vision, and passion for data has helped the delivery of a world class Business Intelligence platform supported by machine learning that forms the backbone of Veolia's intelligent decision making. Under his directorship the team also delivered an award winning customer portal as we focus on providing a seamless communication experience with our customers.

    Additionally Gavin, also has overall responsibility for the management of our 4,400 strong vehicle fleet which includes workshops, local fleet maintenance, compliance, best practise and cost control.

  • John Abraham
    Chief Operating Officer - Water & Country Director - Ireland


    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
    Chief Operating Officer - Industrial Customers

    Kevin leads our Industrial business in the UK and is responsible for our integrated service offering to the sector including the provision of on-site services, decommissioning and managing hazardous waste as well as holding overall responsibility for Marketing, Communications and CR at ExCo level.

    He joined Veolia in 1998 and as Marketing, Communications & CR Director has led the transformation of our UK brand positioning and perception.

    During this period, Veolia has gained a hard earnt reputation for environmental and social responsibility, underlined by its winning the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development in 2014 and Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) prestigious Responsible Business of the Year Award in 2016.

    Veolia has also won BITC Awards for Sustainable Products and Services and Climate Change and received a Platinum Rating in its CR Index. Kevin has also been nominated in his own right as a BITC ‘Game Changer’.

  • Marguerite Ulrich
    Marguerite Ulrich
    Chief Human Resources Officer - Veolia UK & Ireland

    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.

  • Richard Kirkman
    Richard Kirkman
    Chief Technology & Innovation Officer - Veolia UK & Ireland

    Richard 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.

  • Christophe Bellynck
    Corporate Development Director

    Christophe is a member of our ExCo and is responsible for large decentralised Veolia energy projects such as district heating and private wiring, the negotiation of off-take contracts, biomass and acquisitions.

    He graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and worked with the French Nuclear Agency as an engineer on Deep Geological Storage of Nuclear Waste. As a consultant for KPMG he then spent four years involved in business re-organisation and management accounting for blue chip companies.

    Christophe joined the Veolia Group in 1990 and from 1996 led our Development Department negotiating major waste PFI, PPP and municipal contracts. These included Sheffield, East Sussex, City of Westminster, Camden, Nottingham, Shropshire, West Berkshire, Southwark, Staffordshire, Hertfordshire and Leeds.

    From 2013 he was focused on the development of strategic projects such as Nottinghamshire PFI, Hampshire PPP and Hertfordshire PFI.