FirstGroup appoints Graham Sutherland new CEO

Graham Sutherland

Aberdeen-based bus and rail giant FirstGroup plc announced that Graham Sutherland has been appointed as chief executive officer with effect from May 16.

Sutherland is a former CEO of telecommunications company KCOM Group.

FirstGroup has about £4.3 billion in revenues and around 30,000 employees.

“Graham has an established record in strategic development, as well as in delivering enhanced financial and operational performance and engaging a diverse range of stakeholders,” said FirstGroup.

“Graham has held a number of senior leadership positions in organisations that provide critical services to consumer, business and public sector customers across the UK.

“He was Chief Executive Officer of KCOM Group plc, a LSE-listed telecommunications company, from 2018 until its sale to a Macquarie-managed infrastructure fund.

“Prior to this, Graham held a number of senior executive roles within BT Group PLC (BT) over twelve years.

“These included as Chief Executive Officer of the BT Business and Public Sector division, where he was responsible for profitable growth and led the integration of EE’s Business unit, creating a division with £4.6bn in annual revenues and 13,000 employees.

“Graham was also Chief Executive of BT Ireland where he was responsible for all consumer, business and network activities.

“Prior to that he was Chief Executive of NTL Ireland and has also held senior financial roles including at Bombardier. He is a non-executive director of Savvi, one of Ireland’s largest credit unions.”

FirstGroup executive chairman David Martin said: “I am delighted to welcome Graham to FirstGroup.

“He has a strong track record in the delivery of critical services and in creating value for shareholders in rapidly evolving regulatory and technological environments.

“Graham joins at an exciting and important time for FirstGroup which is now a focused and resilient business with a strong platform from which to develop.

“I am confident that Graham is ideally suited to take the Group forward and I look forward to working with him to maximise the widespread opportunities that exist for growth and sustainable value creation.”

Sutherland said: “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to lead FirstGroup.

“I look forward to working with my new colleagues to drive the group forward and deliver the vital services that are key to achieving society’s sustainability and economic goals.

“With its prime positions in bus and rail, strong balance sheet and clear purpose, FirstGroup has many opportunities ahead and I look forward to helping shape its exciting future.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.