Veolia Environmental Services (ES) has appointed its first female chief executive, Estelle Brachianoff, who will take up the post at the end of August
Regional director for Veolia's Paris operation's, Estelle Brachianoff will succeed current chief executive Jean-Dominique Mallet.
The UK's waste industry significantly lacks women involved at the top level, and the appointment represents a first.
Ms Brachlianoff was appointed CEO of Veolia Environmental Cleaning and Multiservices in 2008 and in 2010 she was appointed to the post of regional director of Veolia Proprete, which provides waste, energy and recycling services to the Paris region.
The promotion means Ms Brachlianoff will be running one of Veolia's most successful businesses, with Veolia Environmental Services reporting an increase of 18.4 percent in its annual UK profit from £100.9m in 2010 to £119.5m in 2011.