Belfast Telegraph

Translink's new £200,000-a-year chief executive is unveiled: One of Northern Ireland's highest paid public sector jobs

By Rebecca Black

A new appointment has been made to one of Northern Ireland's highest paid public sector jobs.

Translink has announced that water boss David Strahan will be its new group chief executive, six months after outgoing chief executive Catherine Mason announced her intention to stand down.

The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company made the announcement yesterday.

Chairman John Trethowan said the post had attracted significant interest and a "very high calibre field".

"In David Strahan we are confident that we have found a skilled and experienced individual and the right person to lead Translink, one of Northern Ireland's most high profile businesses which provides an essential service to so many," he said.

"As a board we look forward to working with David Strahan, his executive team and all the staff within Translink to continue the success the group has delivered over the past years."

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy wished Mr Strahan success in the post.

"Managing Northern Ireland's public transport system is a very important position and I am confident that with his skills and experience David Strahan will make a valuable contribution to the work of NITHC over the coming years," he said. "I want to wish him every success in this new post."

Regional development committee chairman Jimmy Spratt said he looked forward to meeting Mr Strahan over forthcoming projects including Belfast Rapid Transit and the new integrated ticketing system. The Translink chief position has a salary of around £200,000, which has been the subject of criticism from some MLAs.

Ms Mason inherited record bus and train passenger numbers when she took over at the helm in 2008, which fell during the recession. However, in recent years they have been on the rise.

Mr Strahan will take up the new post at a date to be confirmed. Gordon Milligan will continue to act as interim group chief executive.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Mr Strahan is currently chief executive of Dee Valley Group plc, whose principal activity is the supply of drinking water to customers in north east Wales and the north west of England.

Previously, Mr Strahan was managing director of natural gas company Phoenix Supply Ltd.

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