Thames Water has announced the sudden resignation of its CEO. 

The utility company provides water services to Swindon and has a headquarters in the town.

But it will now have a new head as current boss Sarah Bentley has resigned as chief executive of the company with immediate effect, as of June 27. 

Alastair Cochran and Cathryn Ross have now assumed the joint role of interim CEO of the company.

Ms Bentley will step down from the Board and will continue to support the interim CEO as needed to support an orderly transition to a new Chief Executive.

The Thames Water Board will begin the search for a new Chief Executive and further announcements will be made in due course, as appropriate.  

Ian Marchant, Thames Water’s chairman, said: "I want to thank Sarah for everything she has done since joining the Company in 2020, building a first-class Executive Team and leading the first phase of the turnaround of the Company. 

"On behalf of everyone at Thames, the Board wishes her every success for the future."

Sarah Bentley said: "It has been an honour to take on such a significant challenge, and a privilege to serve Thames Water’s dedicated and inspirational colleagues. 

"The foundations of the turnaround that we have laid position the company for future success to improve service for customers and environmental performance. I wish everyone involved in the turnaround the very best."

Sarah Bentley joined the business in September 2020. She previously held the position of chief customer officer at Severn Trent.

Prior to that, she was the managing director of Accenture’s digital business unit in the UK and Ireland.  

Alongside the country's other water suppliers, Thames Water has received intense scrutiny recently for its practice of discharging raw sewage into our rivers and coastlines. 

Specifically in Swindon, Thames Water has had to deal with a number of leaks, including several high-profile instances of pollution into the River Ray from leaks at the Haydon End sewage pumping station off Thamesdown Drive.

Most recently, a major burst main destroyed the well-used County Road in the town centre, causing weeks' worth of disruption. 

And in October last year, Thames Water was fined more than £50 million after missing targets such as water supply interruptions, pollution incidents and internal sewer flooding.

Out of 11 water companies fined, Thames Water performed the worst and was ordered to return £51m to customers in the form of discounted bills, regulator Ofwat said.