Trainline hires former Google Play software director as chief technology officer

Milena Nikolic will take on the role of leading the company’s tech innovation.

Former Google Play engineering director Milena Nikolic will be joining Trainline as its chief technology officer. The independent rail and coach platform has appointed her to lead Trainline’s innovation strategy and tech vision.

Trainline’s technology team comprises more than 300 travel tech specialists which manage more than 300 product releases each week. This ongoing software development is used by Trainline to propel customer experience. The company has accelerated new ticketing technology to make train travel as easy and affordable as possible.

In the UK, Trainline has increased the usage of digital tickets, which save travellers time, enable touch-free journeys and increase frequency of train travel, with around 70% of all digital train tickets sold nationwide bought by Trainline customers. 

Over the past year, it has launched a number of features, such as Crowd Alerts and SplitSave. CrowdAlerts uses crowdsourced data to enable its community to tell each other in real-time which parts of their train are busy or not. SplitSave finds combinations of tickets that save customers money via “split ticketing” on the majority of routes across the UK, without any need to change trains.

Trainline has also released digital railcards, so customers can keep railcards alongside tickets in the Trainline app, plus delivered further automation of the refund process so that more customers can now self-serve online via their Trainline accounts. 

Nikolic, a software engineer with experience of systems design, mobile services, software distribution and technical leadership, previously worked for 12 years at Google Play, where she led the engineering teams in charge of app distribution and developer experience.

Commenting on joining Trainline, Nikolic said: “I’m excited to join a business which has a longstanding history of creating industry-leading technology for the rail sector. I’ve been really struck by the pioneering culture of the tech team at Trainline, its autonomous working environment and commitment to creating products which empower people to make greener travel choices.”

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Jody Ford, Trainline CEO, said: “Milena brings with her deep tech expertise, including extensive knowledge of harnessing data to create an exceptional customer experience, and a proven track record of leading world-class tech teams.

“As well as launching new innovations for Trainline customers, Milena will focus on helping the rail industry leverage the Trainline platform to better serve its customer needs and accelerate growth in passenger numbers to facilitate a modal shift from road and air to rail.”

Former chief technology officer Mark Holt is now chief product and engineering officer at 10x Future Technologies, the fintech company started by former Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins.

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