Richard Bowker is named chief executive of National Express, eight months after joining Building Schools for the Future programme.

Richard Bowker, the head of the government's Building Schools for the Future programme, has been named chief executive of transport operator National Express.

Bowker will replace Phil White, the long-standing boss of the firm, who will retire in September.

The decision means that Bowker will quit his position as head of the government's Partnerships for Schools organisation, a position he took up only eight months ago.

He had been charged with refurbishing and rebuilding 3500 schools in 13 years - a rate of one school every 36 hours. It is so far unclear who will replace Bowker.

National Express chairman David Ross said: "He is an outstanding individual with a great track record of leadership and achievement in both public and private sectors. I believe he is well placed to take the group forward to the next stage of its growth. I look forward to working with Richard."