Iain Coucher has informed Network Rail’s Board of his intention to step down following eight years with the company, including three years as chief executive. He will remain in his post over the coming months and will be involved in the search and recruitment of a successor to allow for a smooth and orderly transition.
Network Rail chairman, Rick Haythornthwaite, said: “Iain has been an outstanding leader for Network Rail both as chief executive and deputy chief executive. During his time with the company Britain’s railway has been transformed with improved punctuality which is at record levels, safety improved and billions removed from the company’s costs through efficiency saving. What was a company with enormous problems in 2002 is a strong and stable one today – and Britain’s rail users and taxpayers are the main beneficiaries.
“The Board and Iain agreed that ,with Network Rail one year into a five year financial settlement, now is the ideal time in our financial and regulatory cycle for Iain to hand over to a new chief executive who will guide the company through the process of reviewing our funding with the Office for Rail Regulation for the next regulatory control period and address the next phase of challenges in its transformational journey.
“Iain and I are working closely together to find a successor and then deliver a smooth and orderly transition, all the time focussed on making sure that throughout the period the company continues to deliver a safe, reliable and efficient railway.”
Network Rail chief executive, Iain Coucher, said: “I am enormously proud of what the Network Rail team has achieved over the past eight years. Britain’s railway is now on a sure footing for the future.
“Following three years as chief executive, and five before that as Deputy, now is a good time for me to move on. The company needs continuity of leadership throughout the next five year regulatory review period.
“Leading the thousands of dedicated railwaymen and women that make up this company has been the greatest privilege of my professional life. I know that under the management team we have in place, complemented by a new chief executive, they will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.”
A process to select a new chief executive is now underway, led by the chairman, Iain Coucher and the Board.