Mark Wild named new HS2 chief

Mark Wild has been named as HS2’s new CEO - image: HS2

Former Crossrail boss Mark Wild has been named as HS2’s new CEO.

He has been appointed as HS2 enters peak construction and will lead the completion of the high-speed railway, overseeing preparations for the start of the working railway in 2029-2033.

Wild’s start date is yet to be confirmed. His arrival follows the departure of Mark Thurston who led HS2 for six-and-a-half years up to the end of September 2023. 

Sir Jon Thompson, presently acting as executive chair, will resume his poition as HS2 chair once Wild takes up his post.

Wild will join at a  pivotal moment in the programme’s delivery, with civil engineering works along the route from London to the West Midlands reaching their peak and focus shifting to building the infrastructure to operate the railway.

This new appointment forms part of a series of reforms across the project aimed at bearing down on costs and safely delivering the scheme on time, in line with recent scope changes announced by the government. 

Wild’s extensive experience includes key roles in the transport and utilities industries, most recently as CEO of SGN, the gas distribution network covering Scotland and the south east of England.

He was previously CEO of Crossrail for almost four years, leading the project from a crucial juncture in its construction through to successful opening. 

The scale of Crossrail - now know as the Elizabeth line - is eclipsed only by HS2 as the largest wholly new railway in the UK. 

Prior to Crossrail, Mark was managing director of the London Underground and was previously chief executive of Public Transport Victoria, the integrated transport authority based in Melbourne, Australia.

Sir John Thompson said: “Mark joins HS2 Ltd with unrivalled experience and a track record of successful delivery, giving confidence that he will drive this hugely complex programme to completion - providing more reliable and faster services for rail users, while boosting the economies of the West Midlands and London. 

“It is a mark of the scale and ambition of HS2 that we can attract a leader of his calibre.”

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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