KiwiRail has named Downer EDI executive Peter Reidy as its new chief executive, replacing Jim Quinn who will leave in February after a term of five years.
In a statement on Friday, KiwiRail chairman John Spencer said Mr Reidy has a successful track record of leading service and infrastructure-based businesses in the freight, engineering, energy, building products and asset management sectors in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Britain.
A New Zealander, Mr Reidy is currently based in Australia as chief operating officer, infrastructure services, with Downer EDI Group.
"New Zealand needs a strong, safe and sustainable rail and ferry business for all our customers including exporters, businesses, the travelling public and international visitors," Mr Reidy said in the statement.
He said he aims to "continue the transformation strategy which will enable the business to play an important part in the future growth of New Zealand as it has done over the last 150 years".
AAP reports KiwiRail posted an operating surplus of $108 million last financial year but is at least a decade away from posting a net profit.