NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

FirstGroup will stay in Aberdeen, vows new boss

Tim O'Toole
Image caption Aberdeen is the "soul" of the firm, says Tim O'Toole

The new boss of FirstGroup has vowed to keep the multi-national transport company's headquarters in Aberdeen.

Tim O'Toole, who has taken over as chief executive from veteran boss Sir Moir Lockhead, said the city was the "soul" of the firm.

FirstGroup, which started as Grampian Regional Transport in 1989, now has a £6bn turnover and 130,000 employees.

Mr O'Toole said although it was now a global company, FirstGroup was "all about local delivery".

He told BBC Scotland: "We have this brand new glorious, although modest, HQ opened in Aberdeen and I am certainly going to keep it here.

"It is where the company started, it is where the soul of the company is and, so long as we are welcome, this is where we will be."

Mr O'Toole also paid tribute to his predecessor Sir Moir Lockhead, who has handed over his executive responsibilities after 21 years and will officially retire on 31 March next year.

"The man is a colossus in the industry and I think it is not about my stepping into his shoes," he said. "It is really about me and all my colleagues here at FirstGroup stepping in together. We are kind of moving into another era. "

FirstGroup's portfolio includes the Scottish rail franchise, city buses and school buses across the USA.

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