Etihad Rail chief executive officer (CEO) Richard Bowker has resigned to join the UK’s Football League as an independent director.

Hozem Mubarak, previously Etihad Rail’s director of infrastructure, has been appointed as the interim CEO.

Bowker joined Etihad Rail, formerly called Union Railway, as CEO in 2009. Prior to this, he was the group CEO for the National Express Group in the UK.

Etihad Rail is heading the UAE’s plans to build an $11bn railway network. The first phase of the project is already under construction and will be used by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) for the transport of sulphur between Habshan and Ruwais.