FirstGroup announce the departure of CEO.

FirstGroup (LON:FGP) announced the departure of Chief Executive Tim O’Toole, after the transportation operator reported substantial losses for the year.

The company reported a £326.9 million pre-tax loss for the year ending March 31, a steep decline from the £152.6 million pre-tax profit reported last year.

Adjusted pre-tax profit totalled at £197 million, down on already pessimistic analyst forecasts of £199 million.

This marked a 4.8 percent plunge from year before, disappointing investors and causing shares to slide on Thursday morning.

“The time is right for me to step aside,” O’Toole said. “Today’s results clear the way for the new approach sought by our chairman and the board.”

Mr O’Toole has been at the helm of the struggling bus and train operator for eight years.

He is set to be replaced by current chairman, Wolfhart Hauser.

Matthew Gregory, will assume the role of interim chief operating officer as well as chief financial officer.

Mr Hauser said: “This year’s results fell short of our ambitions – we are disappointed that we did not make the further progress we intended based on the trends we saw at the end of the previous financial year.”

The company, which owns Great Western Railway (GWR), is exploring its options and potentially considering a sale of its US bus group GreyHound.

Most recently, the company’s reporting revealed that profits at Greyhound fell 39 percent to £25.5 million, amid increased competition from ultra low-cost airline operators in the US.

Ultimately, Greyhound has struggled to “overcome the structural shift taking place in its long-haul markets, as ultra low-cost airlines significantly increase capacity and extend into new markets”, commented Mr Gregory.

Alongside Great Western Railways and GreyHound, FirstGroup operate London Tram Link, Aircoach, alongside various First services across the UK.

Shares in FirstGroup are currently trading -12.73 percent as of 11.34AM (GMT).