Everyone in our team has a crucial role in delivering a great service to our customers, and to show them that we’re with them on their journey. GTR is made up of a variety of roles making a difference to people, from engineers and train drivers to station managers.
Our executive team has extensive experience of putting customers in the forefront when delivering a railway that works for everyone on our network.
Chief Executive Officer
Patrick Verwer took up the position of Chief Executive Officer at Govia Thameslink Railway in July 2018 after a move from London Midland, where he held the role of Managing Director from January 2012 until December 2017. Born and educated in the Netherlands, he first came to the UK in 2003 as Managing Director of Merseyrail.
Before entering into the transport industry in the UK and Europe, Patrick worked in law enforcement for the Rotterdam Police Force where he rose through the ranks to become Senior Officer level. With his job based around the main train station in the city, he became very familiar with the railway company and its staff, which led him to receiving his first job offer in the rail sector – an industry he has worked in ever since. 20 years later, he is at the helm of GTR as CEO.
Patrick believes that the transportation sector is not dissimilar to law enforcement, with both ultimately about motivating a team of people to deliver a good service to the community – and CSR is a huge priority for him at GTR.
Most recently, Patrick helped his company rise to the challenge of keeping the country moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping doctors, nurses, social care professionals and the police get to where they needed to be in a time of crisis.
Chief Operating Officer
Steve White is a Chartered Engineer who has held executive appointments at London Underground, Silverlink Trains, Eurostar and Siemens PLC, handling the operation and maintenance of metro, commuter and long-distance services.
At Silverlink Trains, Steve worked as the Deputy Manging Director before joining Eurostar UK at Director level, responsible for overseeing operations and engineering. At Siemens PLC, he headed up the UK Rail Service Business, providing rolling stock to eight different operators as well as leading the company’s national Think Customer Programme.
At the London Underground, Steve worked as the Operations Director for the Subsurface Railway where he was responsible for 40% of the underground network and led the business through a period of major change including the implementation of a new signalling system on the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith and City and District Lines.
Steve joined Govia Thameslink Railway as Chief Operating Officer at end of September 2018 and became Deputy CEO in July 2019. Here, he has been a key member of the new leadership team responsible for navigating the business through successive timetable changes, customer experience improvements, restoration of stakeholder confidence and the completion of the UK’s largest new fleet introduction programme.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Steve led the business response to ensure the delivery of a safe, on-time railway service for key workers. He also contributes to the national rail performance agenda through leadership of the Performance Improvement Management System on behalf of Network Rail and train operators.
Chief Financial Officer
Ian McLaren took up the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Govia Thameslink Railway in December 2017 after a move from London Midland, where he held the role of Finance and Commercial Director from June 2014 until December 2017.
As CFO, Ian has a focus on improving financial performance and commercial outcomes in addition to an industry-defining digital transformation. Alongside this remit Ian is the Executive Sponsor for the Go-Ahead Innovation Labs, “The Billion Journey Project”.
Ian brings a wealth of Board level experience from global high growth technology companies and start-ups specialising in Cyber Security and Big Data analytics that also included two years living in Australia.
Ian sits on several Boards at the Rail Delivery Group, including the Settlements and Finance Committee, Rail Cyber Assurance Group and the Rail Data Action Taskforce.
Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA), as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD) and was awarded IoD Director of the year in 2017.
Most recently, Ian has helped GTR rise to the challenge of keeping key workers moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, by technologically enabling all 7,000+ GTR colleagues to work securely and remotely during the lockdown and beyond.
Outside work Ian enjoys the great outdoors being a skier, sailor and keen cyclist participating in regular events and making use of his bicycle mechanic qualifications.
Managing Director – Southern and Gatwick Express
Angie joined GTR at the start of the franchise in 2014 as Passenger Services Director for Gatwick Express. One year into this role, she added Southern to her portfolio and then in July 2019, she became Managing Director for Southern and Gatwick Express.
Overseeing the busiest part of the UK rail network, her focus has always been putting the customer at the heart of everything she does. Over the last five years, she has led her business to achieve a consistently strong performance of over 90% punctuality & reliability and customer satisfaction improving 8% year on year.
Achievements throughout her time at GTR are the introduction of a new fleet of Gatwick Express trains, launch of Oyster/ Contactless at Gatwick, staff back on board and rebuilding customer confidence and developing the Customer Experience plan for all areas of the GTR franchise. Most recently, she was awarded the Everywoman in Transport & Logistics 2019 Industry Champion Award.
Angie has extensive management experience in a career spanning 20 years in the rail industry. Highlights include her role as Commercial Manager for the introduction of the first UK domestic high-speed rail service at St Pancras in December 2009, and responsibility for Olympic Transport Planning of the Javelin service for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
She is an advocate for Diversity in the workplace and is a champion for increasing the number of women in rail to 30% by 2021, a target that Southern & Gatwick Express are on track to achieve.
Angie has been instrumental in leading the company response to Covid-19. Against a backdrop of changing guidance and safety advice, she made sure that the GTR team delivered a safe, sustainable railway service on which key workers and other passengers could rely.
Managing Director – Thameslink and Great Northern
Tom became Managing Director of Thameslink & Great Northern Railways in July 2019 and has been instrumental in restoring the service quality and reputation of Thameslink and Great Northern with customers and stakeholders. He sees the railway as an essential part of life in the UK and loves having the opportunity to deliver a great service and constantly try to make it better.
He is passionate about customer service and CSR and has led GTR’s ‘Caring for the Vulnerable’ work to help the passengers, colleagues and communities affected by COVID-19. He also chairs the GTR-Network Rail Customer Alliance Board which champions passengers’ interests.
Since joining Govia Thameslink Railway, Tom has overseen major improvements to our service including the £240m investment in new trains for Great Northern customers, which has contributed to Great Northern twice being the most improved railway in the country in the National Rail Passenger Survey and achieving its highest ever score of 86% in the Spring 2020 survey. Tom is also responsible for the Stations Improvement programme – GTR’s £15m investment in improving every station across the network.
Prior to joining the rail industry, Tom was part of the executive team which transformed the Post Office, serving as Operations Director, Group Strategy Director, HR Director and Development Director over nearly seven years.
He started his career with the CBI and soon found his passion for public services, eventually rising to the role of Head of Public Services Policy before moving to KPMG to work as a management and strategy consultant. In his four years at KPMG Tom led award-winning work to transform how West Midlands Police handled and investigated crimes but is most proud of his 3 years working on the team which delivered the London 2012 Olympics.
Tom lives in north London and is proud father to two young children, who leave him no time for any interesting hobbies.
Our train drivers get our customers safely to their jobs, to their homes and to leisure destination across our network.
My focus is getting people from A to B safely and I hope to have a positive impact on peoples’ journeys. My job satisfaction comes from doing my job as best I can and providing a valuable service.
Trainee train driver
Across all stations on our network, large and small, our station managers make sure that our customers’ experience is improved in all areas of the station environment.
My favourite part of this role is that every day is different, one day you’re on a course, the next you’re in a meeting, or visiting different departments, or at another station.
Our stations assistants have a safety-critical role dispatching trains so that they leave the station safely, while at the same time providing first-class customer service to customers.
My role is absolutely fantastic. I love the dispatching, it feels so good to send a train out on time for our customers. When assisting customers, I try to put myself in their shoes and treat people with patience, understanding, care, and respect.
Rail operation control
Our Control staff keep our service running and our staff and customers informed. They identify and react to occurrences as they take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and aim to provide the best possible train service to customers, whatever the circumstances.
The Customer Experience Team Leader role provides customers with detailed and concise information when their journey is disrupted, so they’re enabled to make the right travel choices tailored to their journey. As well as updating our websites and apps, I’ll work with my colleagues to ensure instant updates are available using various other channels useful to our customers.
Customer Experience Team Leader
Over the last few years our Engineering Department have delivered fantastic results four our customers including: shorter turnaround times and brand-new trains. Our teams have made a big difference to our customers. Whether you are interested in maintenance, fault diagnosis, or management, we have opportunities at all levels.
I can honestly say that from my experience so far, GTR has a lot of positives. Engineering jobs tend to be secure, because, engineers are always needed in some capacity. The skills learnt in engineering are important and transferable. There is a clear development programme available to engineering staff. Hard work and determination pay off.
Our Head Office Staff play an important role in supporting our front-line staff. From Doctors in our Occupational Health Department to Communications Experts, we hire head office staff from almost all backgrounds, industries, and fields of expertise. We are dedicated to providing a great Employee Experience for our staff so that they have everything they need to provide a good Customer Experience.
My role as a Safety Risk Specialist (stations) looks closely at ensuring the safety our customers and staff whilst at the station and on the train. Not only do I to assess risk at stations, but I also suggest recommendations for improved safety and infrastructure. GTR has an amazing record for personal development, you can choose to pick up knowledge from any department if you’re willing to learn and progress.
On Board Supervisors
The role as On Board Supervisor puts you in the forefront of customer service, whether that is helping someone carry their luggage onto the train or assisting them with a ticket for their journey. It is fast paced and requires high levels of communication between not only yourself and the passengers, but also with team members.
I am often a first point of contact for those people travelling to or from the airport, which can be a stressful and confusing time for people who are first time visitors. By being approachable and available I can make their journey that little bit easier.I love that every day is different! New people coming and going every hour of the day! I get the pleasure of meeting different people from all over the world and being able to be the first to welcome them, or give advice on places to visit, is what I enjoy most.
On Board Supervisor
Rail Enforcement Officers
Our Rail Enforcement Officers are faced with many different challenges, whether it be fare evasion, a vulnerable person, or low-level crime such as anti-social behaviour. The approach to dealing with each situation requires a broad skill set and good communication, regularly thinking on your feet and assessing situations to keep everyone safe.
A highlight for me is engaging our customers and building rapport with regular passengers. I also really enjoy delivering our ‘Safety in Action’ presentations for Primary School students which provides knowledge of how to keep themselves and others safe in the railway environment.
Rail Enforcement Officer
As we continue to modernise our train services, infrastructure and working practices, apprentices, graduates and placement students provide a fresh perspective that every organisation needs to thrive. We offer nationally-recognised qualifications for all apprentices and high-level industry qualifications for graduates and placement students. Many of our managers have started their careers with GTR via graduate or apprenticeship roles and we continue to seek out the leaders of tomorrow.
Our “Get Into Railways” programme, in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, helps young people who are struggling to find work to find employment.