He achieved this by using his charisma, vision and determination, and by sheer hard work. He is at times an enigmatic individual with many qualities that have to be admired and some that can shock because they show his determination to succeed.
However, success has not come without a price – in his case constant bombardment from the media. Does anyone really believe that a company with 12,000 or so staff and a £1.2bn turnover could maintain 25% of the country's rail infrastructure and provide tens of thousands of students with accommodation and so on without some incident along the way. The law of averages demands that there will be incidents. The reports seem to have forgotten that he is still a human being.
The time has come for this great achiever to say enough is enough. Our industry will be all the poorer without him.