The Office of Rail and Road chief executive is to leave the watchdog to take a director general post at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Joanna Whittington will leave the ORR after nearly three years at the helm to become DG energy and security at BEIS from 5 October,
Whittington has held various director roles at ORR and spent nearly 15 years at the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem, as well as stints as an analyst and consultant in the private sector, but this is her first role in a department.
The ORR has named John Larkinson, its director of railway markets and economics, as interim chief executive as it prepares for an open competition to permanently replace Whittington. He has been at the ORR since 2012 and has previously worked at the former Strategic Rail Authority and has previously he worked at a transport planning consultancy.
ORR chair Stephen Glaister said: “I thank Joanna for her accomplished leadership over nearly three years and wish her all the best success in the future.
“I am pleased to welcome John as the interim chief executive. He has a wealth of rail knowledge and experience and is well equipped to deliver the role to the high standard we have all come to expect.”
The ORR will hold an open competition for Whittington’s permanent replacement “in due course”, it said.