Awards, contracts & appointments


Mark Carne to step down as Network Rail chief executive

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne is to step down from his role after four years in charge.

The announcement comes weeks after Network Rail told the public that Carne was doing a “terrific job” and that his position was not in jeopardy.

The former Shell boss is to step down later this year, giving the organisation time to choose a new CEO before the beginning of the next control period.

Responding to Carne’s decision, Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy applauded the “outstanding job” that the chief executive had done in the role.

“His leadership steadied the ship during the challenging transition to a public sector organisation and he has been the architect behind the huge positive changes in the company, driving transformation, devolution and efficiency, with an emphasis on equality and diversity too” Hendy said.

“Three years ago, he set out a strategic vision for a digital railway transformation which is now becoming a reality in our plans. Throughout this, he has maintained a determined focus on delivering the biggest upgrades to the railway in a hundred years.

“Perhaps his biggest legacy, however, is the change in safety culture that he has very personally led and which has done so much to make the railway and our workforce safer.”

The chairman confirmed that the two had discussed Carne’s retirement and decided on a timescale which would allow him to submit the upcoming       strategic business plan ahead of the beginning of the next control period in April 2019.

Rumours that the CEO was likely to leave had been circulating for a number of months, prompting Network Rail officials to hit out at critics and claim he was in no danger of being removed.

Carne himself, said it had been a “privilege” to lead to organisation in a time of huge change and investment.

“I planned the timing of my announcement so there was stability while we developed the business plan for the next five-year regulatory period, but so that there will also enough time for my successor to be firmly in place when it starts,” he stated.

“I will leave knowing that the railway is in good hands and has a great plan for the future.”

The announcement has seen Carne applauded for his efforts by those in the rail industry, with transport secretary Chris Grayling hailing the CEO’s “excellent job.”

“He has provided very strong industry leadership on safety and digital rail, and Network Rail has significantly improved the railway for its customers under his direction” Grayling continued.

“His focus on devolving power to Network Rail’s route businesses has built the foundations for a more efficient and passenger-focussed organisation which supports the government’s agenda to bring track and train closer together.

“Mark will of course continue to provide great leadership for Network Rail until he steps down in the summer, and I hope he will continue to play an important part in the transport sector in the future.”

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Brian   06/02/2018 at 11:36

Great job Mark Carne, lets hope his replacement has the strength of character and tenacity to continue the job.

Neil Palmer   06/02/2018 at 15:19

Wonder what odds the bookies are offering on Peter Hendy as replacement?

Highland Hamish   06/02/2018 at 17:31

Another one “ bites the dust “ , wonder who’s next to collect a huge salary & move on ?

Richard Watson   06/02/2018 at 20:22

He's topped up his pension pot and made millions from introducing a new 120 million safety scheme that does not work and is more dangerous than before. On your way take that total failure SWL with you will you.

R David   06/02/2018 at 20:29

It is always sad to lose someone with such a passion for safety.

Lutz   07/02/2018 at 04:16

This very welcome news. Not only has he failed to deliver the improvements that were expected of him, but he has also presided over a a deteriorating service with a growing proportion of service fails originating with Network Rail. The industry has got to get away from this constant focus on their alleged achievements - this is not aty railway, it is first and foremost a service, and an abysmal one at that - a customer can not go a week of travel on the rails and on average not experience a major disruption at least twice in that week. More need to go - perhaps next should be Hendy - so that we can get a focus on the customer.

Jak Jay   07/02/2018 at 09:23

Good riddance,walking away with a 'Golden Goodbye' no doubt, totally agree with Lutz on this Maybe get rid of a few orange wearing colleagues who stand around doing nothing,not holding my breath on that one!

Trackworker   07/02/2018 at 14:21

I’ll think you’ll find he’s leaving before he’s found out his wife just happenend to be on the board of the company that provided SWL which didn’t work also I think his financial interest in the company that provided the VTS tracker for NR vans has raised its head apart from that I thought he was alright

Cliff.   08/02/2018 at 17:13

Should be made to work until he is 66 like other people of 58 have to!

Otter Valley   09/02/2018 at 22:27

What did he do to press for the reopening of railway lines? eg the line from Exeter through to Okehampton and Plymouth. The missing sections of it that is above Bere Alston. Not his job perhaps? But he was in a good position to further such projects.

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