HS2 has confirmed former CH2M regional managing director Mark Thurston will be the project’s new Chief Executive.
Thurston began his career in the rail industry over 30 years ago as an apprentice with Transport for London, before stints with The Nichols Group and Metronet.
He has been at CH2M since 2008 working on the London 2012 Olympics and Crossrail where he was lead for the Programme Partner joint venture for three years.
He is currently the regional managing director overseeing CH2M’s European operations, which includes those in the UK.
His appointment comes after a five month global search following the departure of Simon Kirby.
The Chairman of HS2, David Higgins, said: “Mark not only knows the UK rail industry from the bottom up, but has worked for organisations operating at the highest level globally.
“His grasp of how to manage the transition from page to reality makes him not only the right person to take over at HS2 as we are on the verge of Royal Assent, but also to see it through the years leading up to the first train being commissioned.
“The challenge is huge in terms of the task and timescale, but the Board believes Mark has the knowledge, experience and leadership qualities to deliver the project within the budget we have been given and to do so in a way that recognises our responsibility both to Parliament and the communities in which we will be operating.”
Thurston will start with HS2 in the spring, once he has transitioned his leadership responsibilities at CH2M.
He said: “HS2 is arguably the most important investment in infrastructure in the UK for a generation, which will serve businesses and communities across much of the country.
“I am looking forward to leading the HS2 team and its partners to deliver a railway that will transform connectivity between our major cities and regions.”