The City of Edinburgh Council’s recruitment committee has recommended Chris Walton as its preferred candidate for the position of Non-Executive Chair of Lothian Buses plc.

Lothian Buses is the leading bus operator in Edinburgh and the Lothians, with a fleet of 650 buses, an annual turnover in excess of £100m, carrying over 100 million passengers.

Mr Walton was chosen after interviews on 28 February. His appointment will be recommended to the Council at its meeting on 10 March before final approval is given by Lothian Buses’ Board on 12 April.

Council Leader Councillor Jenny Dawe said: “Chris has everything we need for the job – an exceptional track record in business together with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills. He will provide excellent stewardship for our award-winning bus company and I look forward to working with him over the coming years.

“We remain absolutely committed to delivering on our vision for a clean, green and efficient transport system for Edinburgh and I’m delighted at the prospect of Chris being part of the team that helps to achieve that.”

Ian Craig, Managing Director Lothian Buses, said: “We were delighted by the calibre of candidate who applied for this position. Chris is an outstanding individual who will bring to the Board a wealth of experience from a range of leading global brands, including the likes of easyJet and Qantas. He will be a valuable addition as we look to shape the ongoing development of Lothian Buses.”

Chris Walton said: “I look forward to joining one of the icons of Edinburgh. Lothian Buses has a justly deserved reputation which extends well beyond Scotland.”

Chris Walton profile

Chris has extensive experience in the transport sector, including six years as Finance Director and CFO of easyJet, and prior to that, holding senior executive positions with both Qantas and Air New Zealand. He is currently non-executive Chairman of Goldenport Holdings, a London listed shipping business.

In non-transport sectors, he is a non-executive Audit Committee member for the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (responsible for 2012 Olympics) and the Senior Independent Director and Audit Chair of Rockhopper Exploration plc, a large AIM listed oil exploration business.