FirstGroup has promoted chief financial officer (CFO) Matthew Gregory, who has also been the company’s interim chief operating officer (COO) since May, to the position of chief executive.
Matthew takes on the role with immediate effect.
Chairman Wolfhart Hauser said: “Since his appointment as interim COO in May, Matthew has demonstrated the combination of strong leadership skills and strategic decisiveness, which has allowed us to make progress in a number of key areas.
“Having conducted a thorough selection process, which considered external and internal candidates, the board unanimously concluded that Matthew is the right person to take on the role of chief executive.
“Matthew’s comprehensive knowledge of the Group, his experience in previous roles and leadership capabilities are precisely the qualities needed to drive the Group’s value mobilisation strategy at pace, and I look forward to the Group making further progress under Matthew’s leadership.”
Matthew replaces former boss Tim O’Toole who resigned in May following the announcement of a full-year loss.
He said: “It’s a great honour to lead FirstGroup and our 100,000 employees who are relied upon by millions of customers across the UK and North America each day.
“I believe we are now in a better position to make the most of our opportunities and create a stronger business for the future. I am committed to delivering on our plans to improve our offering, increasing ease and convenience for customers, and creating sustainable value for shareholders.”
FirstGroup also announced that Steve Gunning, CFO of British Airways, has been appointed to the board as an independent non-executive director, with effect from January 1, 2019.
Wolfhart added: “Steve’s extensive financial and operational expertise, and knowledge from his senior roles at British Airways, one of the most important customer brands in transport, will be of immense value to the Group.”
To ensure the continuation of strong financial leadership, finance director Nick Chevis will become interim CFO with immediate effect.