The change of Descheemaecker is part wider changes in management at several state-owned companies and organisations in Belgium. It is also part of changes at SNCB.

Although the exact details have yet to be confirmed, from January 1 2014, SNCB will be taken over by SNCB Holdings after plans for reform were approved in principle on August 30. The exact details of the changes will be developed further and finalised before October 11 when they will be submitted to the European Commission for approval.

Van Massenhove has led various public organizations and agencies in Belgium during his career, and reports in the Belgian media indicate that he is willing to reform and restructure Belgium's state-owned passenger operator.