Turnaround king and former cement chief will come from MasterCard to head rail body

Network Rail has appointed Rick Haythornthwaite, chairman of US-based credit card network MasterCard Inc, as its non-executive chairman.

Haythornthwaite will take over from Sir Ian McAllister following Network Rail's AGM. His appointment will be confirmed in March.

Haythornthwaite, 52, was previously head of software firm Invensys, after he sold the Blue Circle cement firm to the French. Prior to that he was at BP for around 20 years.

Network Rail has been a state-backed enterprise since the collapse of Railtrack in 2001.