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  • Our managers

    Executive matters are delegated to the executive committee which is chaired by the chief executive and comprises the other two executive directors and seven other senior managers

  • Members of the executive committee

    Mark Carne

    Mark Carne, chief executive*

    Appointed to the board: 2014

    Mark has formally been appointed Accounting Officer for Network Rail by the Secretary of State, meaning he is personally accountable to Parliament for Network Rail’s stewardship of public funds.

    Skills and experience
    Mark was formerly executive vice president for Royal Dutch Shell plc in the Middle East and North Africa, responsible for the company’s business in a vital but volatile region at a time of significant political change. Before taking on that role he was executive vice president and managing director for BG Group in Europe and Central Asia following a 21 year period spent in a variety of roles with Shell – including responsibility for Shell’s oil and gas platforms in the North Sea and as managing director for Brunei Shell Petroleum. Mark is a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

    Current external appointments
    Independent governor of Falmouth University; senior advisor for Adamant Ventures.

    Whilst the board is ultimately responsible for the success of the Company, operational management is delegated to the chief executive and the executives working for him. Mark is accountable to the board for all elements of the Company's business, and specifically for safety performance.

    Patrick Butcher

    Patrick Butcher, group finance director *

    Appointed to the board: 2009

    Skills and experience
    Patrick joined Network Rail as group finance director. Patrick’s former finance director positions include English Welsh and Scottish Railway (now DB Schenker), Mapeley, London Underground and King’s College Hospital. His early career was at Deloitte & Touche as a management consultant and auditor. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (South Africa).

    Current external appointments

    Patrick is responsible for a range of corporate services that support the whole business by providing business services, specialist expertise and advice. This includes: finance, contracts and procurement, human resources, information management, property and other services such as legal, tax, national delivery and internal audit.


    Jerry England, group asset management director

    Skills and experience
    Jerry joined Network Rail in October 2007 and has undertaken a number of engineering and asset management roles prior to assuming his current role in 2012.  Prior to joining Network Rail, Jerry was major projects director with the Highways Agency and chief operating officer for Thames Water. Jerry has spent 20 years in the oil and gas industry. He is a chartered chemical engineer.

    Jerry leads the Asset Management services function which sets asset policies and provides assurance to the business around the whole-life management of our assets. It also provides essential information, telecoms and energy services to the routes, and supports the whole business in achieving optimum performance from the rail infrastructure.

    Graham Hopkins

    Graham Hopkins, group director, Safety, Technical and Engineering

    Skills and experience

    Before joining Network Rail in June 2015, Graham was executive vice president of Engineering & Technology Aerospace Component Engineering at Rolls-Royce. He started on the graduate apprentice programme at Rolls-Royce after graduating from City University, London. Graham is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; the Royal Aeronautical Society; the Institute of Mechanical Engineers; the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining; and the Royal Society of Arts.


    Graham leads the Safety, Technical & Engineering (STE) function, which encompasses asset management, engineering, rail technology strategy, safety, health and wellness, and sustainable development, together with Network Rail’s key national change programmes including business critical rules, level crossing risk reduction, risk based maintenance and safety culture change.

    Phil Hufton 80x80

    Phil Hufton, managing director, Network Operations

    Skills and experience
    Phil joined Network Rail in January 2015. He was chief operating officer at London Underground from June 2013, joining together the asset performance responsibility, which he had led since 2008, with operating the underground network. He also led the reliability programme across London Underground leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games and until he left delivering significant improvements as well as the material strategy for London Underground. Phil's career before London Underground included manufacturing and engineering around the world, mainly in the rail industry.

    Phil leads the Network Operations function which is responsible for the safe running of the railway every day. In addition, to safety of passengers and workforce, Network Operations is responsible for train paths, train movements, improving performance and meeting the needs of our customers. This function is split into routes, led by a route managing director, and owns and manages the business relationships with the passenger and freight operators and external commercial stakeholders.

    Ian Iceton

    Ian Iceton, group HR director

    Skills and experience

    Ian joined Network Rail in 2012 as Head of Human Resources for Infrastructure Projects. Before joining Network Rail, Ian spent three years as Director of HR Operations at Skanska and 20 years at Volkswagen Group.  Ian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.


    Ian leads the Human Resources function which provides support and leadership for our people and creates the right environment to attract and engage high-performing employees to deliver engineering and operational excellence. This covers recruitment, training and development, employee relations, diversity and inclusion, and succession planning

    Francis Paonessa

    Francis Paonessa, managing director, Infrastructure Projects

    Skills and experience

    Francis joined Network Rail in 2014, having most recently been managing director UK, Bombardier. He started his career with shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft in 1992, initially as a mechanical design engineer, and joined Bombardier in 2010 as president of UK rolling stock. Francis is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


    Francis is leading the delivery of £25bn of infrastructure renewals and enhancements, comprising thousands of projects around the country aimed at delivering a bigger, better railway enabling more trains to run, at higher speeds with more seats and better facilities at stations up and down the country.


    Suzanne Wise, group general counsel and company secretary

    Skills and experience
    Suzanne joined the company in 2012 and is responsible for the Legal Services function. Suzanne has extensive in-house legal and corporate governance experience gained within the listed environment having joined Network Rail from Premier Foods plc where she held the position of general counsel and company secretary. Prior to Premier Foods plc she was group head of legal at Gallaher Group plc. In her early career she was a solicitor in private practice.

    Suzanne leads the Legal Services function which provides professional advice and guidance and sets the strategy, tone and direction in the areas of legal, company secretariat and transparency and business ethics. Legal Services provides the Company with an effective corporate governance framework, leads the organisation in the appreciation and mitigation of legal risk, builds the Company’s legal capability and expertise and drives greater transparency and appreciation of business ethics and legal compliance. Legal Services is made up of the legal teams of corporate, routes, strategy, risk and compliance, and property, and the transparency and business ethics and secretariat teams.

    Barney Wyld

    Barney Wyld, group communications director

    Skills and experience

    Barney joined in 2014, following 20 years experience in corporate and government communications. Prior to Network Rail he was global vice president, campaigns and digital at Unilever, where he led integrated external and internal communications campaigns across 95 markets. Before Unilever he was senior director, strategy and communications for the Office of Fair Trading. Barney started his career as a speechwriter in the UK parliament, and then spent eight years in consultancy.


    Barney leads the corporate communications function which is responsible for ensuring that Network Rail presents a consistent narrative about the company and its strategy. One of Barney’s key accountabilities will be to continue to integrate Network Rail’s long term business strategy with its external stakeholder communications and internal employee engagement.


    * Denotes an executive director 

  • More information