John O’Brien is an entrepreneur with extensive experience as chairman or chief executive of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. A chartered accountant by training, he is currently involved in a number of organisations, either as an investor or adviser, including as owner of Astons Coaches Ltd, which was previously the UK transport business of the Veolia Group. At Veolia, he was the Group’s representative in the UK across all its businesses (t/o £2billion) of which he was also a director, as well as being the Chairman of its transport businesses in Australasia.
Previously, John held senior positions in the rail industry. In 1996, he was the Government’s Franchising Director, where he was responsible for the delivery of the initial franchising of Britain’s 25 passenger train companies and their subsequent management. Subsequently, he was Property and New Business Director and then Commercial Director at Railtrack where he also led the in-house team which oversaw the company emerging from Administration as Network Rail. He has been an adviser to the Arbiter of the London Underground PPP contracts, and was an inaugural member of the Government’s Commission for Integrated Transport.
John has held chairman/chief executive/director roles in the retail, utility and media sectors. He has also had extensive involvement in charities, and currently chairs the Board at the Westminster Abbey Foundation and the Westminster Abbey Pension Fund, Action for Children, Care and Care for the Family.