Chris Burchell, managing director of Arriva UK trains for the last six years, has announced that he will be leaving the rail industry in mid-October to take up a new challenge in the energy sector.
He will join SSE as the new managing director of its electricity distribution business, SSEN Distribution.
Chris led Arriva to several key contract awards, including the London Overground franchise, and delivered significant increases in customer satisfaction and other performance measures.
He began his career at Railtrack in 1996 and, following a period as an official in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, joined the Go-Ahead Group, where he was director of operations at Thames Trains and managing director for the Southern Rail franchise. In 2013, Chris spent a three-year term as a non-executive director of the water regulator, Ofwat, and in 2017 he was appointed chairman of the industry body, the Rail Delivery Group.
David Brown, an industry professional with 25 years’ experience will be stepping into the role at Arriva as interim managing director of UK Trains.
He has worked across all modes of transport in both the public and the private sectors, holding prominent leadership roles in the industry, including being chief executive at Transport for the North, chief executive at Merseytravel, and, more recently, managing director of Northern Rail and then Arriva’s group communications director.