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FirstGroup CEO steps down

FirstGroup’s Tim O’Toole has stepped down from the company’s board and as CEO with immediate effect.

The news comes after the firm announced losses of £327 million in the year to March 31, a stark contrast to the profit of £153 million the previous year.

FirstGroup chair Wolfhart Hauser, who will become executive chair until a successor is appointed, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Tim for his distinguished leadership of the company since 2010.

“During that time the Group has reinvested in its businesses, restored free cash generation and substantially strengthened its balance sheet.

“The Group is now a more stable and resilient enterprise, with a growing ability to capitalise on its leading positions in diverse transport markets.”

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O’Toole added: “The time is right for me to step aside. Today’s results clear the way for the new approach sought by our chairman and the board.

“I should like to thank the 100,000 employees who work so hard to deliver for our customers every day. It has been a privilege to work with them.”

Matthew Gregory will be appointed interim chief operating officer with immediate effect, and will also continue his responsibilities as chief financial officer.

FirstGroup owns TransPennine Express, open access operator Hull Trains, Great Western Railway and operates London’s Tramlink system. It also owns the train company South Western Railway with MTR Corporation.

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