GO-AHEAD chairman Sir Patrick Brown is stepping down after a decade in the job.
He will hand over the reins to Andrew Allner, currently a senior independent director, in April next year.
Sir Patrick said yesterday the group had grown “significantly” since he joined the board in 1999 and had weathered the economic storm well.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Go-Ahead and have enjoyed working with four chief executives and the small, but immensely able, board of directors who have helped steer the company over the years,” he said.
“The group is now in a strong position to move forward and the time is ripe for me to step down. Andrew has both significant knowledge and understanding of the group, gained not least through his four years as non-executive director, and has considerable board experience.
“I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as we continue to progress our strategy."
Allner has been on the board of the Newcastle-based public transport giant since 2008.
He said: “I feel very privileged to be taking over from Sir Patrick and I look forward to working with the board and executive team to create further growth in shareholder value whilst at the same time continuing to improve the already high standard of our bus and rail operations.”
The announcement comes a week after Go-Ahead said it was targeting £100m annual profits from its bus division by 2016. Its 4,600 buses currently generate a return of £70m from the 1.7 million passengers they carry each day.
The company is looking to the bus division amid confusion caused by the Government’s decision to delay the current competitions for rail franchises after issues with the West Coast mainline.
Go-Ahead was on the shortlist to bid for the new Thameslink rail franchise in London but that is on hold.
The group already runs the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland franchises.