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  • Our managers

    Executive matters are delegated to the executive committee which is chaired by the chief executive and comprises the chief financial officer and ten 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.

    Susan Cooklin

    Susan Cooklin, route services director

    Skills and experience
    Susan was previously group chief information officer at Network Rail. She has a wealth of industry knowledge, and extensive experience in leading large and complex change programmes. Susan has developed strong relationships with stakeholders across a number of industries, including rail, financial services and technology.

    The Route Services Directorate will supply services that the route managing directors collectively decide are best provided from a single support team. This will allow routes to benefit from economies of scale and allow Network Rail to optimise resources on a national basis. It will initially include group business services, the national supply chain and Network Rail consulting.

    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, England & Wales

    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 across England and Wales, 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

    Jo Kaye

    Jo Kaye, director, Network Strategy and Capacity Planning

    Skills and experience
    Jo joined the rail industry graduate training scheme in 1995 and worked in a number of operational management roles in Network Rail for the first years of her career. Jo has been route managing director for London North West route, and then more recently a director in the strategy and planning team. Jo was appointed director, Network Strategy and Capacity. Jo holds an MSc in passenger transport management. 

    Jo leads the Network Strategy and Capacity function which is responsible for capacity planning and developing medium and long term strategy and plans for Network Rail and Britain's rail network.

    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.

    Phil Verster

    Phil Verster, managing director, ScotRail Alliance (the formal partnership between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail)

    Skills and experience
    Originally from South Africa, Phil started his working life in the electricity supply industry before joining Rolls Royce as a director responsible for manufacturing and control systems projects. A career railwayman, Phil was previously managing director of the second largest Network Rail route - London North East and East Midlands (which includes the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland). Phil pioneered a new approach to structured continuous improvement that delivered improved safety and train performance as well as an enhanced passenger experience. He joined the UK rail industry as a depot manager and production director of Bombardier Services, followed by an appointment as fleet director of Southeastern Trains for a period of three years. Phil spent five years at Irish Rail, latterly in the positions of deputy chief executive officer and chief engineer, with responsibility for the production activities of the infrastructure engineering and fleet engineering disciplines.

    Creating this ‘One Railway’ approach to delivering Scotland’s Railway by the joining up of two separate parts of the rail industry is a bold step, new direction and exciting change to drive closer integration of track and train, improved reliability, service quality and greater efficiency in the use of resources.

    David Waboso

    David Waboso, managing director, Group Digital Railway

    Skills and experience
    David joined Network Rail in June 2016. He is an engineer and project manager who has worked for engineering and consulting firms on infrastructure programmes in the UK and internationally. David led the upgrade of the Docklands Light Railwa and the completion of the trains and signaling systems for the Jubilee Line Extension. David worked on the Thameslink and train safety programmes. He has led cross-industry programmes on ERTMS and system integration. From 2005 to 2016, David was the Director of Engineering then Capital Programmes at London Underground, where he led the £10bn tube upgrade programme – the biggest in that company’s history.

    A Chartered Engineer, he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers and of the Association for Project Management. Healso holds a Fellowship to the City and Guilds Institute. In 2015 David became President of the Association for Project Management. He was awarded a CBE for services to transport in London and was named as Leader of the Year in the Manufacturing and Infrastructure section of the Black British Business Awards in October 2014.

    David leads the Group Digital Railway programme at Network Rail, a rail industry initiative to organise and accelerate the changes needed to modernise signalling and train control using digital technology to improve capacity, connectivity, and reliability for customers.

    Jeremy Westlake

    Jeremy Westlake, chief finance officer*

    Appointed to the board: 2016

    Skills and experience
    Jeremy was formerly senior vice president for Alstom Transport in France, responsible for strategy building, investor management, financial structuring and corporate reporting. Previously he spent 14 years at Rolls-Royce in a range of senior finance and supply chain roles in the UK and the United States. Jeremy is a chartered accountant and has a Masters in manufacturing from the Cambridge University.

    Jeremy will lead the finance function which includes: group finance, treasury, internal audit and risk, planning and regulation, and long-term planning and funding.


    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 

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