ComfortDelGro appoints former executive as new CEO for Europe

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Transport operator ComfortDelGro is rehiring its former executive Damian Rowbotham as the group’s chief executive officer for Europe to supervise its bus, coach, taxi and private-hire operations in Britain and Ireland with effect from Sept 1, 2022.

Mr Rowbotham joins ComfortDelGro from Stagecoach Group, where he presently serves as the British public transport provider’s finance and commercial director for London.

Prior to joining Stagecoach, Mr Rowbotham held the position of group finance director for Britain and Ireland at ComfortDelGro from 1999 to 2012. He was also chief operating officer of the group’s Australian subsidiary Cabcharge from 2014 to 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In a statement on Monday (Aug 29), ComfortDelGro said it was also adding on experts in rail tendering and operations under wholly owned subsidiary ComfortDelGro Transit – including the appointment of new heads of rail operations, maintenance and customer experience.

It added that the new senior hires come as part of “an aggressive expansion strategy” to participate in more international tenders with a targeted emphasis on Europe.

Mr Cheng Siak Kian, group deputy chief executive officer of ComfortDelGro, highlighted the company’s recent efforts to bid for international rail franchises and said it has “seen some success” with the contract it won last year to operate rail services in Auckland, New Zealand.

Mr Cheng says he remains hopeful for ongoing bids for rail tenders in Sydney and Paris, where the group has been shortlisted.

“As we participate in more of such tenders, we have to grow our bid team, which will also be instrumental in the transition should we win,” he added.

Shares of ComfortDelGro were down two cents, or 1.4 per cent, at $1.40 as at the midday trading break after the announcement was made.