Crossrail executive chairman Doug Oakervee confirmed the announcement, saying: "Rob Holden's appointment is good news for Crossrail and a further significant step for the project.
"Rob brings exceptional experience in delivering major projects, most recently with High Speed One. I am delighted that Rob will be at the helm as Crossrail moves into the critical construction and delivery phase of the project."
Oakervee will move across to take up the new post of non-executive Chairman when Mr Holden joins Crossrail. Mr Oakervee will remain in post until Terry Morgan CBE takes over as Crossrail Chairman later in the year.
Rob Holden said: "Crossrail is a massive project and one that brings enormous benefits for London, the South East and the whole of the UK. It will deliver fast and frequent services across the Capital, linking the important business hubs of Heathrow, the West End, City and Canary Wharf.
"When it opens in 2017 Crossrail will provide an additional 10% to London's rail-based public transport capacity. I am very excited to be joining the project. I am looking forward to working firstly with Doug and then Terry and all the Crossrail team in delivering this world class railway."
Crossrail also announced further appointments to the project's senior executive team:
Valerie Todd has joined Crossrail from TfL as Talent and Resources Director,
Lesley Calladine joins from Serco and takes up her position of Health & Safety Director on 23 February,
David Allen will join Crossrail from Laing O’Rourke on 2 March as Finance Director.
Commenting on these appointments Douglas Oakervee said: "They bring a wealth of talent and experience to the project. Together with today’s announcement of Rob Holden’s appointment they will complement and strengthen the Crossrail executive as the project moves towards the construction of the railway."