Newcastle’s Go-Ahead says CEO David Brown to retire

Newcastle-headquartered international rail and bus giant Go-Ahead Group announced that David Brown intends to retire as group chief executive at the end of this year after more than 10 years leading the business.

Go-Ahead employs around 30,000 people and is one of the UK’s largest bus operators, with a strong presence in London.

Outside London, it serves the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, East Anglia, South East and South West England. Internationally, it operates a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland.

Go-Ahead’s rail division operates in the UK, Germany and Norway.

In the UK, Southeastern and GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) operate through its 65% owned subsidiary Govia, which is 35% owned by Keolis.

“David has spent nearly 40 years working in the transport industry, including as CEO of London Buses for Go-Ahead London and managing director of surface transport at Transport for London before he became group chief executive of The Go-Ahead Group in 2011,” said the firm.

“The board has a process to appoint a successor underway and a further announcement will be made in due course.”

Go-Ahead Group chairman Clare Hollingsworth said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank David for his strong and inspirational leadership of the group over the last 10 years.  

“He has championed innovation and growth in the UK, led our overseas expansion and successfully steered us through the pandemic.

“David will continue to provide strong leadership to the group to enable a smooth handover.

Brown said: “It has been a privilege to lead the Go-Ahead Group and its 30,000 colleagues delivering over a billion annual customer journeys pre-pandemic.

“I look forward to helping those passengers return to public transport in the next few months, which will be vital as we rebuild the UK economy and work towards ambitious climate change targets.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my many years providing vital transport services to customers, communities and stakeholders, and I look forward to the next stage in my career.”