HS2 appoints new boss to lead railway completion

Mark Wild OBE

Mark Wild OBE has been appointed as the new chief executive of HS2, tasked with leading the completion of Britain’s high-speed railway project.

His appointment comes as HS2 reaches a crucial phase, with civil engineering works from London to the West Midlands nearing their peak.

Wild will oversee preparations for the railway’s operational phase, set to begin between 2029 and 2033.

The leadership change is part of broader reforms to control costs and meet the project’s revised scope recently outlined by the Government.

He succeeds Mark Thurston, who led HS2 for six and a half years until the end of September 2023.

Sir Jon will remain as executive chair until Wild takes over, which has yet to be confirmed and after Sir Jon will return to his previous role as HS2 chair.

Sir Jon 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.”

With nearly 40 years of experience in the infrastructure industry, Mark Wild has experience in the transport and utilities sectors, most recently serving as CEO of SGN, the gas distribution network for Scotland and southeast England.

He was also CEO of Crossrail for almost four years.

He 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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