Sir John Armitt, the man who helped set up Network Rail and oversaw the hugely successful Olympic Delivery Authority will become the next chairman of National Express from February 2013.
Armitt replaces John Devaney who became chairman in 2009. The appointment of Sir John heralds a Christmas cracker shake up at the top of the company. Current managing director, Andrew Cleaves, is moving on to become International Development Director. Tom Stables succeeds him, having joined National Express in 2010 as Group Business Development Director. Tom Stables spent eight years with FirstGroup.
Says Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive of National Express, ‘I am delighted that Andrew and Tom have agreed to these new roles. Andrew has made a significant contribution to the coach business and I look forward to drawing on this experience as we develop our international opportunities. I am also pleased that Tom has agreed to succeed Andrew. Tom has wide-ranging transport experience and recently led our Essex Thameside rail bid with distinction. I look forward to continuing to work with them both in the coming years.’
The widely respected Sir John Armitt is currently Deputy Chairman of Berkeley Group and a member of the Transport for London board. From 2001 to 2007 he was Chief Executive of Network Rail and its predecessor, Railtrack. In 1997 he was appointed as Chief Executive of Costain, a position he held until 2001. Before this he was Chief Executive of Union Railways, the company responsible for development of the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
He previously spent 27 years at John Laing plc rising to become Chairman of the Laing International and Civil Engineering Divisions. Sir John will initially join the Board as a Non- Executive Director on 1 January 2013 and then take over as Chairman on 1 February. National Express has one remaining rail franchise, top performing, c2c.