The former chief operating officer of the London Underground, Mike Brown, is to return to his post a year after leaving.

Brown, 45, who headed the Tube from 1989 to 2008, quit last year to take up the post of managing director with the country’s biggest airport Heathrow.

Brown will take up the job in 2010, which has been vacant since February this year when Tim O’Toole left.

The challenges that await Brown include a Tube upgrade programme under threat from funding disagreements with contractor Tube Lines, as well as preparing the network for the London 2012 Olympics.