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Hitachi Rail UK MD and Group CAO Karen Boswell to stand down

Press release   •   Sep 02, 2019 12:49 BST

Karen Boswell OBE

Hitachi Rail Group today announces that Group Chief Administration Officer (CAO) and Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Limited, Karen Boswell OBE, will leave the company on 1 October 2019.

Karen joined Hitachi in June 2015, and has led the UK business through a period of accelerated growth and transformation.

Over the last four-and-a-half years, Hitachi Rail’s presence in the UK has increased substantially across a network of state-of the-art train maintenance centres, a manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham and head office support. The company’s total employees has grown accordingly, from 400 in mid-2015 to over 3,000 today, and UK revenues for FY18 were a record £1.3bn, rising from £182m in FY14.

Karen has led Hitachi’s delivery of the UK government-backed, £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme (IEP), which is today transforming passenger journeys on the Great Western and East Coast Mainlines. Her tenure has also overseen the introduction of new electric commuter trains to Scotland, as well as securing over £450m of new train manufacturing and maintenance contracts, comprising those for Transpennine Express, Hull Trains, East Coast Open Access, plus the recent £400 million award to deliver and maintain a new fleet for the Abellio UK operator East Midlands Railway. In combination, these orders have established Hitachi as the UK’s manufacturer of choice for new Intercity trains.

In March 2017, in addition to her role as UK MD, Karen was appointed Group CAO of Hitachi Rail’s global business, with overall responsibility for group strategy, IT, legal and communications, brand & marketing.

In recognition of her achievements with Hitachi Rail, in April 2018 Karen was appointed as a Corporate Officer of Hitachi, Ltd., from where she has contributed to corporate goals to enhance diversity and inclusion and the development of social and environmental value globally.

Karen was awarded an OBE for services to the UK rail industry in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours.

Andrew Barr, Hitachi Rail Group CEO, commented:

“Karen has made an enormous and lasting contribution to Hitachi Rail at both UK and group levels, and she will be leaving with our business in great shape and well positioned to build on the achievements of the last four-and-a-half years.

“I would like to thank Karen for her leadership during a period of rapid growth for our business in the UK, and trust that everyone at Hitachi will join me in wishing her well for the future.”

A further announcement will be made in due course about plans to succeed Karen Boswell’s Hitachi Rail UK role.

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