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Hitachi makes major changes to management team
DETAILS have emerged about the new team that will help to bring train building back to the North-East.
Hitachi Rail Europe has announced several senior management appointments as it gears up to start building a new £4.5bn train assembly factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The move is the latest stage in the Intercity Express Programme (IEP), which was formally approved by the government in July, that will see the Amazon Park site build the next generation of high speed trains from 2015.
Having worked for Hitachi for over 40 years, Chiaki Ueda, previously chairman of Hitachi Rail Europe, is retiring and has returned to his native Japan. Mr Ueda spent six years in the UK, leading the growth of the company. In his place, Alistair Dormer has become head of the company as executive chairman and chief executive. Mr Dormer has been with Hitachi Rail for almost 10 years, interrupted only by a short period during which he was seconded to the Agility Trains consortium. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the company’s growth in the UK and European rail industry. Keith Jordan will continue his role as managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, with responsibility for the overall operational leadership.
Andy Barr has been appointed senior vice president and head of projects, operations and maintenance. In addition to his role with the maintenance business, he will have overall responsibility for planning and delivery of major projects.
To support him, Russell Hargrave has joined as head of maintenance with a responsibility for the Aycliffe site and Ross Cunningham has joined as depot delivery manager. He has overall responsibility for the development, construction and delivery of new train depots which will be among the contract work that the North-East plant will hope to win.
Work on Amazon Park is due to start in the upcoming months.
Jamie Foster, the company’s recently appointed procurement director will have a leading role in assigning contracts to build and supply the factory and surrounding infrastructure which includes a rail test track.
Earlier this year, Darren Cumner, was appointed plant manager. He has been spending time between Aycliffe and Hitachi’s offices in London as he oversees construction at the site.
The company has also launched a recruitment drive to further strengthen the senior team. The recruitment of factory staff is due to start in 2014.
Mr Dormer, said: “With the close of contract of the Intercity Express Programme, we reached a major milestone and will now concentrate on delivering the programme on time and to budget. We have ambitious growth targets for Hitachi Rail Europe in the UK and in continental Europe and the new leadership team will be fully focused on delivering these with the help of our highly committed colleagues.”