FORMER secretary for education and manpower John Chan Cho-chak has been appointed managing director of the Kowloon Motor Bus Company to replace the late Lawrence Louey. The announcement, made by the company's board of directors yesterday, ended months of speculation about the future of the former government high-flyer who quit at the age of 50. The consent of the Governor, Chris Patten, was sought before Mr Chan accepted the job of managing the 10,000-strong franchised bus company, which was left vacant by Louey's death in December. Mr Chan will take up his new post officially on November 1. It is not known whether he will also take the office of his predecessor at the KMB headquarters in Mei Foo, Lai Chi Kok. It is believed that one of Mr Chan's key tasks will be to handle negotiations with both China and Hong Kong officials. Another pressing issue for the company is the renewal of its franchise before its expiry in August 1997. The company is also eyeing the new bus routes to Chek Lap Kok airport and is keen on exploring the China market.