Network Rail’s chairman, Sir Peter Hendy, said he has no plans to advertise for a new chief executive following a newspaper report claiming that Mark Carne was under pressure from Whitehall to resign.
An article in The Telegraph suggested that the government wasn’t satisfied with Network Rail’s performance under Carne’s leadership and were keen for him to step down. Quoting an insider source, the piece suggested that the size of his annual pay package was also a source of contention.
Hendy has since defended Carne’s record, describing him as “an exceptional leader”.
Network Rail’s chairman said he doesn’t plan to look for a replacement until Mark informs him of his desire to move away from the organisation.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “Mark Carne is an exceptional leader, and has conceived and led Network Rail’s transformation to devolved routes, better responding to and focussing on our customers.
“Network Rail also delivers thousands of projects every year, the vast majority to time and budget. Last week saw him and the organisation personally complimented by Chris Grayling on the successful execution of the biggest programme of Christmas and New Year railway upgrades ever.
“We recognise train performance is not where we’d like it to be, but Network Rail’s infrastructure is performing at record levels on a railway busier than it ever has been.
“It is for me and the Board to hire and fire the CEO and we all know and recognise that Mark is doing a terrific job. I won’t be advertising for any replacement until Mark tells me he wants to step down. Right now, he continues to drive Network Rail forward, to enable Britain’s railway to deliver economic growth, jobs and housing.”
Photo: Network Rail