Tricia Williams, managing director, Northern

Northern welcomes new managing director & chief operating officer in leadership switch

The train operator, Northern, has seen a major shake-up to its leadership positions this week as it welcomes a new managing director and chief operating officer.

Northern announced last August that Tricia Williams would be taking over from former managing director Nick Donovan in the spring of this year.

Tricia had occupied the chief operating officer role since she joined Northern in 2020. Before this, she held a range of executive roles at Manchester Airports Group, as well as 20 years at United Utilities Group in operational leadership and strategic transformation-minded positions.

Tricia is being replaced as chief operating officer by Matt Rice who has joined from Network Rail, where he was route director for the north and east route.


Image shows Matt Rice - New chief operating officer of Northern

Matt will be supported by three regional directors:

  • Craig Harrop – north west
  • Kerry Peters – Yorkshire, East Midlands and Humberside
  • Jason Wade – north east

“I know we have big challenges ahead of us but Northern is in a strong position and Matt and the rest of the director leadership team are committed to creating an inclusive culture, improving performance and our customer experience,” said Tricia.

She added: “After three great years as chief operating officer, it’s an absolute honour to be taking on the managing director role from this week.”

Northern is the UK’s second largest train operator and is thought to contribute around £1.25bn to the national economy each year.

Matt said: “I am looking forward to working with Tricia and my colleagues across the region to deliver for our customers.

“I have spent my career focused on making things better and I am committed to fostering a positive workplace culture for all and delivering great rail services for people across the North of England.”

Image credit: Northern


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