The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions has confirmed that Ian McAllister, chairman and chief executive of Ford of Britain, will be heading up the team bidding to take over Railtrack plc's role as operator of the railway network.
Mr McAllister said: "I do not underestimate the challenge which developing this bid represents. My experience at Ford has shown that with the right management, investment and planning, companies can be transformed. That is the basis on which the bid team under my leadership will be formulating its proposals."
The DTLR said he has been appointed to 'give strategic direction to the team' which would seek to establish a private sector company – or Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) - which he will chair.
While a private company, a CLG does not have shareholders. His new post will be a part time one and he will continue to work for Ford.
As well as his position at Ford, Mr McAllister is chairman of The Carbon Trust, deputy chairman of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, senior non-executive director, Scottish & Newcastle plc and member of the Audit Committee.