Northern hires new people director

Northern Train operator Northern has appointed former Marks and Spencer executive Lisa Leighton (pictured) as its people director, as of this month.

Leighton will be responsible for relations and recruitment for the operator’s 7,000 employees based across the North of England, including drivers, conductors, engineers, customer service and support staff. She will also be in charge of the organisation’s learning and talent programmes and will lead a renewed focus on overall employee experience and engagement.

Leighton has an extensive background in HR, with experience across telecoms, financial services and retail. Outside of work, Leighton is a listening volunteer for the Samaritans, a suicide prevention charity with a long association with the rail industry.

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Nick Donovan, managing director of Northern, said: “Lisa has an impressive track record at developing inclusive organisational culture and we’re excited to add her extensive skills and experience to our leadership team.”

Leighton added: “The rail industry is going through a period of huge change and I look forward to working with colleagues at Northern to lead the way in the industry and build a new future for employees and customers.”