Stagecoach Group announced the following changes to its Board of Directors, effective May 1, 2013.
• Sir George Mathewson, chairman, to retire as a director;
• Sir Brian Souter, chief executive, to be appointed as chairman;
• Garry Watts, to continue as senior independent non-executive director and in addition, to be appointed as deputy chairman;
• Martin Griffiths, finance director, to be appointed as chief executive;
• Ross Paterson, director of finance & company secretary, to be appointed to the board as finance director.
Martin Griffiths’ role has developed significantly during his 12 years as the company’s finance director and he is now involved in all aspects of the management and strategy of the group.
“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,” said Sir Brian Souter. “I fully support the Board’s decisions to appoint Martin and Ross to their new roles, which reflects a further continuation of the transition in responsibilities that has occurred over recent years. With a combined shareholding of over 25 percent, my family and I remain committed shareholders in Stagecoach and I will devote whatever time is necessary to effectively discharge my responsibilities as Chairman when that time comes.”
Sir Brian Souter is an award-winning entrepreneur who co-founded Stagecoach and is the architect of the group’s strategy and philosophy. Souter has been behind some of the major transport innovations over the past three decades, including, in recent years, the market-leading budget coach service, megabus.com. He is chairman of Souter Investments and a chartered accountant.
“It will be interesting to see how he operates as chairman,” said BUSRide international columnist Doug Jack. “He gets very closely involved in the running of all the subsidiaries and has a legendary reputation for his knowledge of individual routes and revenues. I think he will have to stand back from that kind of detail but he still has a very active and innovative mind. He may well move on to more strategic issues. The change is unlikely to affect the overall management of the group, including the activities in North America.