FirstGroup, the UK owner of First Student, announced that former Aramark Education President Dennis Maple will head the company's North American school bus division, replacing Linda Burtwistle.
Maple, who also had senior management positions at Coors, Kraft, Pepsico and Quaker Oats on his resume, takes over officially next Monday.
"I am very pleased to be joining FirstGroup with its unrivalled scale, breadth and experience in delivering high-quality transport solutions for customers and communities across the UK and North America," said Maple in a statement. "First Student operates within a market that I am passionate about and have significant experience of operating within. I look forward to joining the team and to the challenge of leading First Student during this important stage of its evolution in creating a stronger business with a sustainable competitive advantage for the future."
A company spokesman told STN that Burtwistle informed the company several months ago of her intention to step down. She is expected to remain at First Student for "a brief hand-over period." She joined FirstGroup America, which operates First Student, First Transit and Greyhound, in 2008.
FirstGroup CEO Tim O'Toole, who just last month fended off a proposal from a minority shareholder to sell First Student and Greyhound to help return the company to profitability, said he was "delighted" at adding Maple, who oversaw $1.3 billion in revenue at Aramark.
"He has a proven track record of leadership, business improvement and building strong relationships with customers, partners and employees," O'Toole added in a statement. "Although there remains much to be done to leverage our scale as the market leader and deliver long term sustainable growth, the wealth of experience that Dennis brings will be invaluable in driving the recovery programme (sic) forward to the next phase and building on the actions already taken."
He also thanked Burtwistle "for her efforts and commitment in establishing the first stages of the transformation at First Student."