Sir Terry Morgan is to join HS2 from Crossrail next month, taking over from Sir David Higgins as chair of the high-speed railway line.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling today announced the appointment of Morgan, who has been chair of Crossrail since 2009
HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston also announced that a new chief operating officer and chief finance officer will be appointed as the north-south railway link project moves “from design to construction”.
Grayling welcomed Morgan to the role, stating that “his wealth of experience and expertise… as well as his respected reputation and enthusiasm, will be invaluable in the project’s continued success”.
Morgan was formerly chief executive of Tube Lines, a public-private partnership company that was contracted to maintain and upgrade infrastructure on London Underground's Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. He has also held senior roles at BAE Systems, Rover Group and the Chartered Management Institute.
Morgan described it as “a privilege to take up this crucial role”, and said HS2 would be “a driving force behind greater prosperity and productivity across the country, unlocking opportunities for growth and regeneration and building a transport network fit for the future”.
“I look forward to meeting the team and beginning the vital work of taking this magnificent project from strength to strength,” he added.
The Department for Transport also announced it has appointed Ed Smith, outgoing chair of NHS Improvement, as a non-executive director of the HS2 board.
Thurston said: “As we continue the process of moving from design to construction, HS2 is stepping up a gear.
“In our short history we have contracted over 2,300 small, medium and large firms across the country and that process is only going to keep picking up pace in the next few years.
“As we continue to evolve as an organisation to meet that challenge, the guidance and direction that Terry will bring to his role will be vital.”
He added that HS2 would shortly announce the appointment of a chief operating officer and chief finance officer in “further signs of HS2 getting ready for the challenge ahead”.
Former head of finance Steve Allen left the company in March following criticism from MPs and the National Audit Office over the payment of £1.76m in unauthorised redundancy payoffs to outgoing staff.
In its annual report on major projects published on 4 July, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority rated HS2 amber/red in terms of its delivery confidence assessment, which DfT said reflected the “overall complexity of the programme”. The department insisted that “HS2 Phase One is on target to be completed on time and on budget”.
Crossrail, which aims to cut journey times and increase rail-based capacity in London by 10%, was given an amber rating by the IPA. Cost and schedule pressures are rising as the project enters its final stages, and governance has been increased to closely monitor progress, the DfT said.