– UK, Birmingham – National Express Group PLC (LSE:NEX) is pleased to announce the appointments of Matthew Ashley as Chief Executive Officer of our North America division and Chris Davies as Group Finance Director following Matthew’s move.
After two and a half successful years as Group Finance Director, Matthew Ashley is moving to become Chief Executive Officer for North America, National Express’ largest division. While holding this senior operational leadership position Matthew will also remain an Executive Director of the Company and continue as a member of the National Express Board.
During his time as Group Finance Director, Matthew has helped grow National Express’ market capitalisation by around 35% and most recently has completed a successful bond refinancing that is delivering significant annual cost savings.
To ensure a smooth transition, following the National Express 2017 AGM on May 10th Matthew will work alongside the existing Chief Executive Officer for North America, David Duke until 1st September 2017. After this date Matthew will become Chief Executive Officer for North America.
David will remain with the business as a senior counsel supporting Matthew, as part of a long-planned phased retirement.
Chris Davies joins National Express from Inchcape plc where he has been Group Financial Controller and Treasurer since 2013. Chris also acted as interim Group Chief Financial Officer for Inchcape plc between January and April 2016. Chris will join National Express in early May and will initially work alongside Matthew Ashley during a transition period, before taking up the role full time after the National Express 2017 AGM on May 10th. Chris will join the Board as an Executive Director on 10th May 2017, following the AGM
Chris has significant international senior financial experience having started his career with Andersen Consulting, before joining Boots then Marakon Associates (a strategic consultancy) and spending 10 years at Diageo plc. At Diageo plc Chris held a number of strategic and financial positions on three continents, culminating with two and a half years as the Chief Financial Officer for their North American division.
Sir John Armitt, National Express Chairman, said: “I am delighted that Matthew is taking up such a senior operational leadership role within our business and that he will remain a member of the Board. Matthew has been a very accomplished Group Finance Director and I am pleased we are able to continue his career development within National Express.
“I am equally delighted that Chris is joining the Board of National Express as Group Finance Director. Chris brings significant international finance and strategic experience that will benefit the Company as we continue our growth strategy. I look forward to working with him.
“I would like to thank David Duke for his many years of service to National Express and the School Bus industry. David has led our North American business with great skill and is hugely respected by staff, customers and the communities we serve alike. David has been in discussions with us about retiring for some time and I am glad that he is able to do that in a managed way that also allows us to retain his experience and knowledge.”
Matthew Ashley said: “I have greatly enjoyed being Group Finance Director for the past two and a half years and am pleased to be handing over to Chris. I relish my new challenge and am very lucky to be succeeding David Duke who has been an outstanding leader for our North American business. I look forward to continuing to work with and draw on his knowledge and experience in his senior counsel role. Equally, I welcome Chris to his new role and look forward to working with him.”
Chris Davies said: “I am really looking forward to joining National Express. The more I have learned about the company, the more I have been impressed with the people I have met, the clarity of the strategy and the focus on performance. National Express’ mix of a strong UK presence and international diversity is something that really appeals to me and I look forward to playing a part in its continued profitable growth as Group Finance Director.”
About National Express Group
National Express Group is a leading public transport operator with bus, coach and rail services in the UK, Continental Europe, North Africa, North America and the Middle East. The Group has a fleet of over 27,000 vehicles and more than 867 million journeys are made on National Express Services each year. National Express Group is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (NEX.L), and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 with 2015 underlying revenue of £1.9 billion.
For more information : http://www.nationalexpressgroup.com
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