Chairman and chief executive officer of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation Kevin Hyde will step down in December amid reports the post will be localised. Secretary for Transport Gordon Siu Kwing-chue yesterday said he had accepted Mr Hyde's decision not to seek another term when his contract expires. The Transport Branch said a head-hunter had been engaged to find a replacement but would not confirm that a local was preferred to head the corporation which last year brought in revenue of $2.9 billion, an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year. Legislators said Mr Hyde had been under increasing pressure in recent months over the Western Corridor Railway fracas between the company, legislators and government departments. Transport panel member Albert Chan Wai-yip said a lack of communication between the company and government was apparent, adding the branch might also be under pressure to localise Mr Hyde's position. 'In the past half year there have been a lot of voices saying the KCRC should follow the MTR's lead to localise its chairman,' Mr Chan said. 'I think this has been forwarded to the administration by the Preparatory Committee and by a number of other sources, including legislators.' Mr Hyde, whose package was worth $5.5 million last year, could not be reached for comment last night. The 50-year-old New Zealander was recruited in 1990 to turn around the trouble-plagued Hong Kong-China railway. It was suffering from internal feuding, public outrage over golden handshakes for top staff, train breakdowns and problems with the light rail system. Mr Hyde arrived after serving as chief executive of New Zealand Railways where he presided over mass sackings and transformed losses into profits during his term starting in 1987. Between 1982 and 1990, the New Zealand Railways Corporation workforce was cut from 22,000 to 8,000. He has recently been embroiled in the row over the $75 billion Western Rail Link to which China had claimed Britain was seeking to give the green light without consulting it. A Preparatory Committee member accused Mr Hyde of snubbing an invitation to brief it in May but the KCRC said he had never been invited.