BRITAIN’s biggest bus, coach and tram operator has appointed its first woman managing director.
Carla Stockton-Jones takes the wheel at Perth-headquartered Stagecoach and in doing so becomes the first female to head a major private sector multi-modal public transport operation in the UK.
Stockton-Jones, who will report directly to Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths, succeeds Mark Threapleton, who retired in the summer of 2020.
She will be responsible for a business with 24,000 employees, more than 8,000 buses, coaches and trams and an annual turnover of about £1.3bn.
Stagecoach connects communities in hundreds of locations across the UK, from Orkney in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, to Devon in the South West of England.
The company and its services underpin more than £1.6bn in economic value to the country’s economy each year, as well as supporting 10,000 jobs in the supply chain and around 1 in 1,000 jobs across the UK.
Stockton-Jones joined Stagecoach in February 2020 as regional director South of England after holding senior positions with Sky since 2012 as director of home service and previously director of retail.
She has sales and service experience across a range of sectors, including fast-moving consumer goods, media and technology.
Since July 2020, Stockton-Jones has been interim UK managing director and has been leading Stagecoach’s business transformation programme and Covid-19 recovery plans, including engagement with the Department for Transport around the sector’s transition out of the pandemic.
Her new appointment, effective from 1 October, follows a thorough competitive process involving internal and external candidates over a number of months.
Stockton-Jones said: “I’m proud to be heading the UK business as Stagecoach marks 40 years of keeping Britain connected.
“Stagecoach, its people and its services have made and continue to make a hugely positive impact on our economy, in our communities and in protecting our environment.
“Partnership is more important than ever if we are to give our communities the green transport connections they need.
“I’m absolutely committed to working closely with national government, the mayors in our biggest city regions, and our local authority partners and other stakeholders to make that happen.
“I’m also looking forward to continuing the work under way to ensure the business has the right shape so we can unlock new opportunities.
“I want to make the most of the diverse talent we have across Stagecoach, bring a fresh perspective to the business and ensure we are 100% focused on our current and future customers.”
In addition to her company roles, Stockton-Jones has worked as a member of the Maggie’s cancer care board since 2016, helping raise awareness and funding for the charity to achieve its vision of having a care centre attached to every NHS hospital in the UK.
Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “Carla has a proven track record in retail and service roles across a range of highly competitive sectors. She has a passion for delivering large-scale transformation programmes, fostering innovation and motivating teams to deliver results.
“These qualities will be invaluable as we look to deliver a more agile business supported by a talented and diverse team.”
He added: “I’m confident that with our strong leadership and committed frontline people we can come through the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are in a strong position to maximise the significant opportunities for public transport as part of a green recovery, delivering safer, healthier and more prosperous places for people to live.”