FirstGroup Chief Executive Matthew Gregory to step down

FirstGroup Chief Executive Matthew Gregory will step down after the conclusion of the company’s annual general meeting on 13 September.

As a result, existing Chairman David Martin will become interim Executive Chairman at the same time until a permanent successor to Mr Gregory is appointed. A “comprehensive search” has already commenced, the group says.

Matthew Gregory joined FirstGroup in 2015 as Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed Chief Executive in 2018. Before joining the group he was formerly Group Finance Director of Essentra, a component manufacturer and distributor.

Key among his achievements since joining the transport operator has been completing the sale of the group’s First Student and First Transit businesses in North America to EQT Infrastructure, which was achieved recently. He has also placed the group’s bus operations in the UK on what it claims is a “clear path to raise margins to 10% post-pandemic.”

Says Mr Gregory: “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 that the time is right for me to move on to new opportunities.”

Adds Mr Martin: “Under [Mr Gregory’s] leadership the group adeptly responded to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 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.”