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Tue June 18 2024

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HS2 turns to former Crossrail chief

28 May HS2 Ltd has appointed Mark Wild as its chief executive.

Mark Wild
Mark Wild

Mark Wild is joining HS2 as chief executive to replace Mark Thurston, who left in September 2023. Since then, chairman Sir Jon Thompson, a civil service accountant, has been in day-to-day charge.

His start date has yet to be determined.

Mark Wild was previously chief executive of Crossrail, a project that came in three-and-a-half years late and a third over budget. However, he only came on board in 2018, when most of the problems were already embedded, and negotiated the covid pandemic to see it through to its opening in 2022. Since then he has been chief executive of gas distribution company SGN.

Prior to Crossrail, he was managing director of the London Underground.

Mark Wild will join HS2 with civil engineering works reaching their peak and focus shifting to building the infrastructure to operate the new London-Birmingham line, much as he did with Crossrail.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: "Mark Wild brings a wealth of experience with him, including leading the successful delivery of Crossrail, and I have every confidence he will grip costs and robustly oversee this project to transform rail travel for generations.”

Mark Wild said: “I look forward to leading HS2 as it progresses from major construction works to its rail systems phase and beyond to the first passenger services. The scale and ambition of HS2 is phenomenal and will deliver wide-reaching benefits for the UK through more jobs, economic growth and better journeys.”

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