FirstGroup Chief Executive to step down

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FirstGroup plc has announced that Matthew Gregory has decided to step down as Chief Executive and as an Executive Director at the conclusion of the company’s AGM on 13 September this year. David Martin, Chairman, will become interim Executive Chairman at the same time until a permanent Chief Executive is appointed.

Announcing his departure, FirstGroup said that Matthew will work closely with David to ensure a smooth handover process. David Martin commented: “Matthew has made a significant contribution to FirstGroup since joining in 2015, initially as CFO and then stepping forward to take up the post of Chief Executive in 2018. During that time, he has been instrumental in delivering the Board’s strategy to rationalise our portfolio of businesses, culminating in the transformational sale of First Student and First Transit. Matthew was also responsible for delivering margin improvements particularly in First Student and First Bus, as well as First Rail’s successful Avanti West Coast bid, which restored FirstGroup to its leading position in UK passenger rail. Under his leadership the Group adeptly responded to the unprecedented challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. He leaves FirstGroup a more focused, resilient and flexible organisation, well positioned to benefit from the many opportunities ahead. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Matthew for all that he has achieved and wish him every success for the future.”

Matthew added: “Having delivered the substantial portfolio rationalisation strategy and with FirstGroup now positioned to emerge from the pandemic as a resilient and robust business, I have decided the time is right for me to move on to new opportunities. In this landmark year the Group has more than risen to its challenges. We have delivered on our strategic objectives, protected our financial stability, and supported our communities with essential services while helping to shape the future of public transport in the UK. It has been my honour and a privilege to lead this great business and its many thousands of employees who are dedicated to serving their customers every day.”

Matthew Gregory joined FirstGroup as Chief Financial Officer in December 2015 and became Chief Executive in November 2018. FIRST