Rail Operator Go-Ahead Group has made two new appointments to its senior management team.
David Statham, managing director of Southeastern since 2014, is going to be taking up the role of group strategy director. Stepping into his managing director role will be deputy CEO of Govia Thameslink Railway, Steve White.
Both appointments will be effective as of October 2021.
David Statham has almost 30 years of experience in rail transport, with early years spent in passenger-focussed roles as customer service strategy manager at Great Western and managing the ScotRail franchise. A key player in First Capital Connect’s successful bid for the Great Northern and Thameslink franchise, David led on several capacity enhancements on the Great Northern route which increased peak seating capacity by over 24 per cent. He led the first stages of the Thameslink programme, including the redevelopment of Blackfriars and Farringdon and the introduction of Electrostar rolling stock onto the network, before becoming managing director of FCC and delivering several customer-focused strategies.
He took the role of managing director of Southeastern in 2014. His passenger-focussed strategy delivered record results for the business, improving service performance and achieving best-ever levels of employee engagement.
David plays a key role on a number of cross-industry groups, including leading the cross-TOC development of Flexi Seasons and is a Trustee of Women in Rail.
Steve White, a chartered engineer, has held executive appointments at London Underground, Silverlink Trains, Eurostar and Siemens Mobility, handling the operation and maintenance of metro, commuter and long-distance services.
At Silverlink Trains, Steve worked as deputy managing director before joining Eurostar UK at director level, overseeing operations and engineering. At Siemens PLC, he headed up the UK Rail Service Business, providing rolling stock to eight different operators and leading the company’s national Think Customer Programme.
At the London Underground, Steve worked as the operations director for the Subsurface Railway where he was responsible for 40 per cent of the underground network and led the business through a period of major change, including the implementation of a new signalling system on the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith and City, and District lines.
Steve joined Govia Thameslink Railway as chief operating officer at the end of September 2018 and became deputy CEO in July 2019. There, he has been a member of the leadership team responsible for navigating the business through timetable changes, customer experience improvements, stakeholder engagement and the completion of the UK’s largest new fleet introduction programme.
Throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he led the business response, overseeing performance, safety and key workers. He also contributes to the national rail performance agenda through leadership of the Performance Improvement Management System (on behalf of Network Rail and train operators) and the Digital Rail Industry Council.
Commenting on the two appointments, Group chief executive, David Brown, said: “These are changes that will strengthen Go-Ahead going forward as we rebuild passenger numbers following the pandemic, play a part in the restructuring the UK rail industry and proceed with plans to decarbonise our business.
“I’d like to thank David Statham for his outstanding leadership at Southeastern. Under him, Southeastern has delivered a record-breaking performance, recognised in consistently high customer satisfaction ratings. I’m delighted that he’s agreed to take on such a key role for Go-Ahead.
“Steve White has helped to navigate GTR through customer experience improvements, the introduction of new fleet and through the COVID-19 pandemic. There can be nobody better qualified to build on David’s great work in managing the Southeastern network.”