The board of directors of Metrolinx has appointed Phil Verster as its new president and CEO.
Over the last 12 years, Mr. Verster has overseen operations and major construction of rail services in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Among his most recent assignments as a managing director of Britain’s Network Rail have been running Scotland’s railway operations, the ScotRail Alliance, and initiating work on the East West Railway, a new rail line linking Britain’s high tech corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.
“We sought as our next CEO a person with deep domain expertise and substantial executive experience operating and building railways,” said Rob Prichard, chairman of the board of Metrolinx. “There are few people in the transit and rail industry with the know-how, experience and executive skills to drive transformation and maintain service at the same time. Phil Verster is one of them.
“He has operated, built and electrified commuter rail. He has the expertise and executive experience we need to deliver on our ambitious agenda, leading the 4,000 employees of Metrolinx and working with all of our partners. We are delighted the Mr. Verster has chosen to join Metrolinx.”
At ScotRail, Mr. Verster oversaw the delivery of $3 billion of new electrification of the Scottish railroad. Most recently, at the East West Railway, Mr. Verster led successful efforts to re-launch the project through creative partnerships with the municipalities and local leaders it will serve while simultaneously designing and engineering the project in the most cost effective way.
“I am very excited about joining the team of dedicated women and men at Metrolinx, and to be part of one of the most exciting transit transformations taking place anywhere in the world,” said Verster. “I believe Ontario is the place to be. Not just because of the very large scale of investment being made in transit, but because of the dynamism, optimism, and quality of life that has made this region so envied all over the world.”
TTC CEO Andy Byford welcomed Mr. Verster’s appointment: “I am delighted Phil Verster is coming to Toronto to lead Metrolinx. We worked together in London just over a decade ago in an executive team that turned around a poorly performing train operating company. He will be a superb leader for Metrolinx. He is smart, driven, good at delivery, and gets things done. He will deliver both the projects and the change agenda for Metrolinx and GO. I very much look forward to working with him as our partner at the TTC.”
Mr. Verster was selected following an international search on behalf of Metrolinx. His start date is October 1, 2017.