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Wolstenholme to miss out on ICE Presidency

Andrew Wolstenholme

Outgoing Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme is to stand down as ICE vice president and will therefore no longer be considered for presidency in November 2019, ICE Council has heard.

Instead, ICE Council has agreed that former Kier chief executive Paul Sheffield be considered as candidate for the presidency in November 2019, subject to formal election by the ICE’s trustees in December 2018.

Wolstenholme stepped down as Crossrail chief executive of Crossrail after seven years in the role. He is joining BAE Systems in May as group managing director for maritime and land.

He has told the ICE that work commitments in his new role mean he can no longer fulfil his role as vice president and, ultimately, President.

ICE director general Nick Baveystock said Wolstenholme would have made a great President, but accepted his reasoning.

“Andrew Wolstenholme has achieved something amazing during his time as chief executive of Crossrail,” said Baveystock. “He has managed to oversee the largest infrastructure project in Europe, which will deliver improved journey times across London, ease congestion and unlock untold economic benefits across the South East. More than that, he has done a lot to dispel the myths about UK construction and help to bring about the Construction Sector Deal as chair of the Construction Leadership Council.

“We have valued his insight and expertise at the Institution and are sorry he won’t be able to continue in his role as succeeding vice president at this time. However, we understand why he is now unable to continue and wish him luck in his new role at BAE Systems.”

Wolstenholme’s move has therefore forced the ICE to seek out an alternative candidate for president in 2019. Later this year Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie is due to take the helm, and in 2020 WSP head of development Rachel Skinner is set to take on the role.

Sheffield was voted in unanimously by ICE Council. It recognised his many leadership roles in the construction industry. He served on ICE Council between 1998 and 2001 and has been heavily involved in major infrastructure projects such as the High Speed 1 and Crossrail. He has also been involved in power station construction and the water industry.

After leaving Kier in 2014 he had a stint leading Laing O’Rourke’s UK and Middle East businesses. He currently serves as non-executive director of Southern Water and of Dutch construction giant Bam. He is also an industry advisor to the board of Manchester Airports Group, assisting with the management of expansion programmes at Manchester and Stansted airports. He was awarded the CBE in 2014 for his services to civil engineering and charitable fundraising.

Baveystock said that Sheffield was a worthy replacement.

“His international civil engineering experience and many leadership roles make him the ideal candidate at a time of great change in the profession,” said Baveystock.

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