The UNITE Group plc, the UK's leading developer and manager of student accommodation, has announced the appointment of Phil White as an additional Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate of the company.
It is anticipated that he will succeed Geoffrey Maddrell who, as announced at the time of the company's preliminary results in March 2008, will step down as Chairman of the company at this year's Annual General Meeting, after almost 10 years in the role.
Phil, 59, is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Kier Group PLC, the support services and property development group. He is also Non-Executive Chairman of Lookers plc, the franchised motor dealership group.
The majority of Phil's executive career was spent in the public transport sector, during an exciting period of deregulation and privatisation. He was Chief Executive of National Express Group plc from 1997 to 2006, leading the business through a period of considerable growth both in the UK and overseas. He was appointed CBE in 2002.
Nick Porter, UNITE's Deputy Chairman, who led the search for the Group's new Chairman, commented: "Geoffrey has been instrumental in the growth and development of UNITE during his 10 years as Chairman, overseeing the Group's evolution into the UK's largest developer and manager of student accommodation. On behalf of everyone at UNITE, I would like to thank him for his tireless dedication and leadership.
"Following a thorough search, we are delighted to welcome someone with the calibre and expertise of Phil to the Board. His deep knowledge and experience of both the public and private sectors and customer-facing organisations will be of enormous benefit to UNITE as we work to consolidate and grow our market-leading position."
Phil White added: "It is a great privilege to join the Board of such an exciting company operating in a dynamic and growing sector. UNITE has built an excellent reputation through providing and managing accommodation for students across the UK, a specialist asset class which continues to attract strong demand and interest from consumers and investors. I look forward to working closely with the highly experienced management team to explore and realise the ongoing potential and future success of this unique business."