Marketing director leaves Great Western for retail role

John McCallion, marketing director for Great Western Railway, and one of the first marketers in the privatised railway industry, is leaving the company.

McCallion, who made a substantial sum of money when Great Western was bought by trans port company FirstGroup, will now front a management buyout of an unnamed retailer.

McCallion, who used to work for PepsiCo and Marks & Spencer, says: “Now that Great Western has been bought, I’ve made my money and it’s time for me to move on.”

He will be replaced by director of customer services Mike Carroll, previously director of customer services, who becomes Great Western’s commercial director.

Carroll will oversee marketing and customer services in his new role and the marketing director role will be axed.

McCallion says: “The idea is to create a greater synergy between customer services and marketing.”

The move follows the appointment of Andy Cooper, director and general manager of Great Western who joined the company at the beginning of the month. Cooper was formerly managing director of Anglia Railways.

FirstGroup, which had a 25 per cent stake in Great Western – dubbed “late Western” because of its record on punctuality – bought the remaining 75 per cent share on March 30. As part of the takeover deal, FirstGroup promised to carry out a 70m package of improvements, including the introduction of new rolling-stock.

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