Rail regulator appoints interim CEO to replace government-bound boss

Alexandra Rogers
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The ORR said 'nobody took charge' of the rail chaos caused by the May timetable (Source: Getty)

The rail regulator has appointed an internal candidate as chief executive to replace its outgoing boss Joanna Whittington, who is to take up a position in government.

The Office for Road and Rail (ORR), which recently carried out a review into the disastrous May timetable upgrade, has appointed John Larkinson, its current director of railway markets and economics, as interim chief while it waits to begin a formal competition for a long-term successor to Whittington.

It was announced last week that Whittington is joining the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as its director general for energy and security.

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Whittington, who has been chief executive since 2016, will leave her post for government on Friday.

Stephen Glaister, ORR chairman, said: “I thank Joanna for her accomplished leadership over nearly three years and wish her all the best success in the future.

“I am pleased to welcome John as the interim chief executive. He has a wealth of rail knowledge and experience and is well equipped to deliver the role to the high standard we have all come to expect.”

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