Cross-Channel train operator Eurostar has appointed a new chief executive as it continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The company announced that Gwendoline Cazenave will succeed Jacques Damas on October 1.
She will lead the Channel Tunnel train operator and Eurostar Group.
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The latter is a holding company set up for the proposed merger between Eurostar and Thalys, which runs rail services in continental Europe.
Ms Cazenave has been a partner at management consultancy Oliver Wyman for the past two years.
She previously worked as an executive at France’s state-owned rail company SNCF.
Eurostar Group said she has held several non-executive roles with “a focus and interest in gender equality and environmental initiatives”, and will “continue to drive forward” work in these areas as chief executive.
In a joint statement, Christophe Fanichet, chief executive of SNCF Voyageurs, and Alain Krakovitch, chairman of the board of directors of Eurostar Group, said: “We have complete confidence in Gwendoline Cazenave to lead the business, continuing the positive journey of recovery put in place by Jacques Damas.
“We warmly thank Jacques for his determined approach with all of his teams.
“He successfully led Eurostar out of an unprecedented situation, which saw 95% of its activity on hold for 15 months, and officially put in place our new business structure.
“The ambition is to transport 30 million passengers per year within 10 years under a single brand, Eurostar, with excellence in customer service at its heart.
“Offering passengers the largest international high-speed network in western Europe, the combined business will accelerate the recovery of both Eurostar and Thalys from the pandemic.”
The European Commission gave its approval for the alliance on May 1.