Change on the SBB Management Board.

There is to be a change on the SBB Management Board. Paul Blumenthal has decided to step down as Head of the Passenger Division and member of the SBB Management Board. Once he has returned to full health, Mr Blumenthal wishes to concentrate his professional activities on administrative and advisory projects. His deputy, Vincent Ducrot – who has been acting head of the Division since February – will remain in this role until further notice.

Paul Blumenthal has decided to step down as Head of the Passenger Division and member of the SBB Management Board with effect from the end of September 2009. Mr Blumenthal will continue to make his knowledge and experience available to SBB in the context of administrative and advisory mandates, such as those at RailAway and Elvetino, before making a step-by-step return to work in a new capacity – namely, as an independent contractor and consultant in the areas of rail and transport, tourism and marketing. «My return to good health has given me the chance to fulfil a long-held ambition: after 29 years with operational responsibility at SBB I have decided to take on a new challenge as an independent entrepreneur,» explains Mr Blumenthal.

Paul Blumenthal's deputy, Vincent Ducrot, who has been acting as Head of the Passenger Division since February, will continue in this position until further notice. The search for a successor has already been launched with the help of external specialists. Candidates from both within and outside the organisation are being considered.

In his ten years as Head of SBB's Passenger Division, Paul Blumenthal has been a major influence on its strategic direction. He has overseen systematic and successful progress in long-distance, regional and international services, always focusing on customers' needs. The step-by-step system renewal of both the clockface timetable and of rolling stock, combined with steady continuity in marketing, have been instrumental in the division's current healthy position. The successful inauguration of Rail 2000 and the integration of the Lötschberg base tunnel into the timetable have been the highlights of Paul Blumenthal's tenure. Under his leadership, the overall number of passenger-kilometres travelled increased by over 50%.

Both the Board of Directors and the Management Board of SBB regret Paul Blumenthal's decision to step down and thank him for his outstanding achievements in service of the company and, in particular, for his target-oriented and successful positioning of the Passenger Division over the last ten years.

Paul Blumenthal, lic. rer. pol. (b. 1955), joined SBB in 1981 as a graduate trainee and, having occupied various management positions in the area of marketing, was made Head of the then Passenger Traffic Division in 1999. In that role he was also a member of the Management Board. By founding the subsidiaries RailAway and the Swiss Travel Center (STC), Mr Blumenthal helped to shape SBB's commitment to the tourist travel sector. He was influential in the development of partnership concepts for regional passenger transport and transport in general (and notably combined mobility) as well as helping to shape the products, services and marketing strategy of the Passenger Division. Moreover, in his management role organising tender processes for rail and bus offerings, Mr Blumenthal – a native of Canton Valais – was able to acquire broad national and international experience in the competition for transport services. His emphasis on customer focus among sales and on board staff took SBB in a new cultural direction.

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