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23.08.12

Souter to move to chairman role at Stagecoach

Sir Brian Souter, chief executive of Stagecoach, is to step down from his role and become chairman of the company. He will be replaced by finance director Martin Griffiths from May.

The move from chief executive to chair is against the corporate governance code, and has been criticised by commentators, but Stagecoach insists Sir Brian’s expertise should be retained.

Sir Brian co-founded the bus and rail company with his sister with just two buses over 30 years ago. Stagecoach was the first private sector company to win a rail franchise with South West Trains, and is now one of the biggest operators in the UK.

Stagecoach said: “In light of Sir Brian Souter’s unique association with the company as its co-founder and the architect of its success and his deep knowledge and understanding of the global ground transportation industry, the board believes that retaining the talent and knowledge of Sir Brian in the role of chairman will be to the benefit of the company and all of its shareholders.”

Sir Brian said: “I remain committed to the success of Stagecoach and consider now to be an appropriate time to plan to take a step back from the day-to-day management of the business.”

The group has reported that underlying revenues at its rail and regional bus businesses in the UK rose 6.8% and 4.1% respectively in its first quarter.

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