All change at FirstGroup as bus operator announces boardroom shake-up

The bus and train operator FirstGroup yesterday unveiled a boardroom shake-up that will see the departure of its finance director, Iain Lanaghan.

Mr Lanaghan, who has been with the company for four years, will leave after the annual results in May to "pursue other interests" - possibly in private equity. He is being replaced by FirstGroup's commercial director, Dean Finch, who will combine the two roles.

FirstGroup also announced that its chief operating officer Mike Mitchell had stepped down with immediate effect to take up the post of business change director and would retire from the company altogether next year.

Joining the board is David Leeder, the managing director of FirstGroup's UK bus division.

A spokesman said there was no question of Mr Lanaghan having had any disagreement with Moir Lockhead, the chief executive of FirstGroup.

News of the boardroom changes came as FirstGroup reassured investors that profits for the year just ending would be in line with market expectations.

The Strategic Rail Authority also announced an extra £96m in subsidies to extend FirstGroup's FirstNorth Western rail franchise by six months.