Network Rail has chosen Rick Haythornthwaite, to be its next chairman. Haythornwaite will take over from Sir Ian McAllister, who was strongly criticised after engineering overruns in the 2008 New Year period caused massive disturbance to customers. McAllister also faced widespread criticism over the size of bonuses paid to senior directors. At the Network Rail AGM in July this year, the members of Network Rail voted in favour of undertaking a review of the corporate governance of the organisation and McAllister revealed his plans to step down.
Rick Haythornthwaite graduated from Queen’s College, Oxford, with an honors degree in geology and subsequently completed a Masters degree in Business Management at MIT.
He began his career as a geologist at BP. Over a period of 17 years, he served the company in several capacities, including as general manager of the Magnus Oilfield and as president of BP in Venezuela. He was a Corporate and Commercial Director of Premier Oil plc from 1995 to 1997, and thenworked as Chief Executive of cement company Blue Circle. In 2001 he became Chief Executive of engineering conglomerate Invensys and served in that capacity until 2005.
Haythornthwaite is a managing director at STAR Capital Partners, an independent investment fund management company, and he is the chairman of MasterCard Inc.
Haythornthwaite is also chairman of the Better Regulation Commission, an independent body that advises the British government, and he serves as a non-executive director at ICI. He is a member of the MOT Leadership’s Centre advisory council.
He is chairman of the Almeida Theatre Company and of the Tate Gallery’s Corporate Advisory Group. He is also on the board of the British Council.