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New HS2 chief exec in place by mid next year

David Higgins

High Speed 2 (HS2) will have its new chief executive in place by mid next year, according to chairman Sir David Higgins.

The previous chief executive, Simon Kirby, resigned in September and left the project last week. In the interim, Roy Hill has been seconded from CH2M to fill the gap.

Speaking at a select committee Higgins (pictured above) said that the last thing he wanted to do was ‘rush and make the wrong decision’ when selecting a replacement. He said that the longlisting process had already been done, and the search was on worldwide to find the best candidate.

He said that by having Hill on board it gave it the time to get the right person on board and he expected that by mid next year, a new chief executive would be appointed.

“We have had a global search. We have already gone through all the longlisting process. I have spent many late nights phoning some unusual countries in the world to talk to people about potentials. Our brief was to look around the world to find the best people to deliver a project of this size. We are down to the shortlisting process and we will have someone in place, out of their own organisation, by mid-year. That is well within the timetable of Roy’s secondment to us,” he said.

Higgins was speaking at a one-off inquiry session into HS2 by the Transport Committee last week.

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