DB Cargo UK appoints new COO and moves senior positions

DB Cargo UK has appointed Neil Ethell as their new Chief Operating Officer. The appointment has precipitated a boardroom shuffle. The company says the move will drive further improvements in its operational performance and customer service.

Neil Ethell, formerly the company’s Head of Operations and Service Delivery, will take over the new role with immediate effect.

Pandemic recovery and Post-Brexit transition

Neil has more than two decades of experience in logistics, having joined the company in 2002. Since then, he has held several senior roles at DB, developing an in-depth knowledge of rail freight operations, service delivery, asset and resource management.

“I am relishing the challenge of joining the UK Board at a time when the industry continues to face some significant operational challenges as we emerge from the pandemic and post-Brexit transition period”, said Neil. “The world of rail freight is changing, and we need to change with it to ensure we can continue to deliver safe, reliable and sustainable services that not just meet but exceed our customers’ expectations in the future,” he added.

Reshuffle puts life-long staffer in top sales position

Neil’s appointment is the latest in a series of UK Board changes made by the company’s new CEO, Andrea Rossi. Earlier this year, Rossi, who has been with DB since 2004, announced a new strategy to achieve the company’s vision to become the first choice for rail logistics in the UK. “Neil’s promotion comes after a rigorous selection process”, he said. “I am looking forward to working with him and the rest of the UK Board to improve further the overall customer experience provided by DB.

Neil Ethel DB Cargo UK COO as of Nov 2021

At the same time as the appointment of the Chief Operations Officer, DB Cargo UK has taken steps to restructure its management team’s portfolios. “To coincide with Neil’s appointment, we are also taking the opportunity to make some internal, organisational changes to strengthen links between our Sales and Service Design functions which I’m confident will make us much more agile and responsive to our customers’ needs,” said Rossi.

As a result of these changes, Head of Sales Roger Neary will now become Chief Sales Officer. The company says this is a title that more accurately reflects his position within the company and wider industry. Doncaster-based Neary is a life-long company man, now in his twenty-ninth year of service.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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