Former minister Wouter Koolmees (D66) will be the new president of the Dutch Railways (NS) from 1 November. The rail operator announced this on Monday afternoon . Koolmees succeeds Marjan Rintel, who has switched to KLM since 1 July. Koolmees is in principle appointed as CEO for a period of four years. Since Rintel’s departure, the leadership has been temporarily taken over by Bert Groenewegen, who now becomes financial director again. ‘Accessibility in the Netherlands under pressure’ Chairman of the NS Supervisory Board Gerard van de Aast praised Koolmees. “Wouter Koolmees has a proven track record as a director who gets things done,” says Van de Aast. “Always from a social point of view, where he knows how to unite the interests of different groups. I am confident that he can lead NS to the next phase at a time when the accessibility of the Netherlands is under pressure.” Also read: The problems on the track are far from over The latter refers to the staff shortages and financial problems that NS has been struggling with for months. The company recently presented a new, significantly reduced timetable for next year in which 10 percent fewer trains will run. Last week, passenger organizations strongly criticized these plans by the NS. Koolmees was in the House of Representatives from 2010 to 2017 and was Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the Rutte III cabinet. He also acted as Deputy Prime Minister during the illness of Minister Kajsa Ollongren and in 2021 he was an informant for the fourth cabinet under Prime Minister Rutte. He took no place in that coalition himself.
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