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Southeastern appoints David Statham as managing director as it tries to negotiate contract extension with Government to 2018

21 August 2014
by Chris Price

Train operator Southeastern has appointed a new managing director.

First Capital Connect managing director David Statham will take up the post at the operator serving Kent, south east London and part of East Sussex on Monday, September 15.

He takes over from Charles Horton, who stepped down in June to become chief executive of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise.

Southeastern managing director David Statham

Southeastern managing director David Statham

Mr Statham arrives at a critical time for the operator.

The company is in discussion with the Department for Transport over a contract extension until 2018.

Also a Passenger Focus survey this month revealed Southeastern was the only rail company nationally to fall in negative territory when commuters were asked whether they trusted a train company’s judgment.

“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Southeastern at such a critical time and am looking forward to building on the firm foundations laid by the current management team...” - new Southeastern boss David Statham

Mr Statham said: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at Southeastern at such a critical time and am looking forward to building on the firm foundations laid by the current management team.”

Mr Statham’s former employers First Capital Connect lost the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise – now run by outgoing Southeastern boss Charles Horton – to Southeastern’s owners the Govia railway company, who take over its running on September 14.

Govia is itself owned by the Go-Ahead Group (65%) and French company Keolis (35%).

Go-Ahead Group chief executive David Brown said: “I’m very pleased that after a comprehensive selection process David Statham will be joining the Go-Ahead Group.

“His commercial and operational expertise and experience will be a great asset for us.

“Southeastern is an important part of our rail portfolio and over the next few years we need to continue improving services for customers at the same time as being a key delivery partner for the Thameslink Programme upgrade work.

Southeastern is negotiating a contract extension with the Government until 2018

Southeastern is negotiating a contract extension with the Government until 2018

“David has proven success in leading complex railway change projects and improving customer satisfaction levels.”

Southeastern serves 179 stations and carries around 600,000 passengers on more than 2,000 train journeys each weekday.

Owners Govia also run Southern, London Midland and the soon-to-launch Govia Thameslink Railway, headed by former Southeastern MD Mr Horton, which will become the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff.

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