Founder retires

Souter steps down as chairman of Stagecoach

Sir Brian contributor

Sir Brian Souter: time to go

Stagecoach founder and chairman Sir Brian Souter is retiring from the Perth-based transport group and will be replaced by non-executive director Ray O’Toole.

Sir Brian, who has a net worth of £875 million, said he wanted to focus on other interests, including his family but will remain on the board of Stagecoach as a non-executive director.

His sister Dame Ann Gloag, with whom he set up the business in 1980, will retire from the board along with fellow non-executive director Ewan Brown on 31 December.

Deputy chairman and senior independent director, Will Whitehorn, will support the handover of the chairmanship. As previously announced, Mr Whitehorn will step down from the board on 30 June 2020 when the role of deputy chairman will be discontinued.

Gregor Alexander, non-executive director, will succeed Mr Whitehorn as the senior independent director.

Sir Brian has been active outside business and in October made what said to be the biggest charitable donation from a Scot since Andrew Carnegie gave away his fortune. His donation of £109m to the Souter Charitable Trust came on top of £98m he had already gifted to the Souter Charitable Trust which has supported 13,000 worthwhile causes over 13 years.

He said: “At the age of 65, the time is right for me to step down as Stagecoach chairman to spend time on my other interests and with my family, including my three young grandchildren.

“My family and I continue to have a significant shareholding in Stagecoach and I have every confidence in the management team, our strategy and the positive prospects of the business. I look forward to continuing to represent the interests of stakeholders as a Non-Executive Director on the Board.”

Following these changes, the board will consist of seven directors and has acknowledged that following the planned changes, only one of its directors will be female and this will be addressed.

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