Eurostar to lose group chief Taylor

Troubled Channel Tunnel train operator faces further difficulties as top executive Hamish Taylor quits

Eurostar, the troubled operator of Channel Tunnel trains, has lost its group chief executive Hamish Taylor.

Taylor is to leave shortly to take up a “senior position at another organisation,” according to a Eurostar spokesman. He refuses to name the company.

“We don’t know when he is going, but following the announcement, Eurostar has reviewed its organisation, and the functions that were reporting to Hamish Taylor will report to chairman David Azema.

Azema will assume the joint role of chairman and chief executive,” says the spokesman. “There are no plans to replace Taylor at this point in time,” he continues.

Taylor joined the loss-making train operator at the end of 1996 as managing director (MW November 29, 1996) after working as general manager for brands at British Airways.

He was later promoted to chief executive of Eurostar, which operates the train connection between London, Paris and Brussels.

The operator is expected to move into profit by 2003, three years behind schedule.

It has reported an improved performance this year, with total revenue up six per cent to &£198.3m for the first six months of 1999, and traffic volume rising to 3.5 million from 3.4 million. Eurostar faces strong competition from airlines, though it is attempting to combat this with promotional offers.

Eurostar Group is managed by the Inter-Capital & Regional Rail consortium, whose partners include National Express Group, British Airways and state-owned French and Belgian railways.

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