The founder of transport giant FirstGroup today announced plans to step down from his role as chief executive after 21 years with the company.
Sir Moir Lockhead, a former mechanical engineer who has turned the company into one of the largest transport operators in Britain and America with 130,000 staff, will step down on March 31.
He will be succeeded by former London Underground boss Tim O'Toole, who joined the Aberdeen-based company as deputy chief executive in June.
Sir Moir, 65, has been chief executive and deputy chairman of FirstGroup since its formation in 1995. He led an employee buyout of the council-owned Aberdeen city municipal bus operator Grampian Regional Transport (GRT) Group in 1989, when he worked there as a general manager.
FirstGroup was formed as FirstBus in 1995 through the merger of the Badgerline Group and the GRT Group, with fleets in England, Wales and Scotland.
Sir Moir, who was knighted in 2008, took the company from 500 staff to become the largest transport operator in Britain and America, running bus, rail and freight services worth £6 billion a year. Its UK rail franchises include First Great Western, First ScotRail and First Hull Trains, while it also operates the Greyhound coach service in North America.
The company has 2.5 billion passengers a year across the world. In the UK, a fleet of nearly 8,500 buses operates every day.
Announcing his decision to step down, Sir Moir said: "I firmly believe that timing is everything and with FirstGroup in a strong position to continue its successful development, the time is right for me to hand over to an outstanding team led by Tim O'Toole."
Sir Moir was born in the mining village of Sedgefield, County Durham. His parents worked at the local hospital - his mother as a seamstress and his father as a painter and decorator.
At 15, Sir Moir left secondary school to become an apprentice mechanic. He went to college and attended night school.
Sir Moir, who is married with four children, lives on his family's 300-acre farm near Aberdeen, where he breeds Highland cattle.
He earned £643,000 last year after waiving his bonus entitlement and holds share awards worth around £4.5 million based on the current share price. The transfer value of his pension stood at £7.5 million in March.
Successor Mr O'Toole, an American who joined London Underground in 2003, was praised for his handling of the July 7 bombings.
His co-ordination of the evacuation of thousands of passengers and staff to safety after the attacks in 2005, plus the quick resumption of services on the Tube network, earned him an honorary CBE.
The English literature graduate worked as a lawyer before making his name in the US rail freight business, joining Conrail in 1984. He was named Conrail's president and chief executive in 1998.Reuse content