HS2

12.09.16

Kirby resigns as HS2 chief executive to join Rolls Royce

HS2 Ltd’s chief executive has announced he is leaving the company just as the high-speed rail project approaches permission to go ahead.

Simon Kirby will stand down and take up a place as chief operating officer at Rolls Royce.

The HS2 Bill is currently progressing through the House of Lords and is due to gain Royal Assent by the end of the year.

Kirby said: “HS2 is not just a highly ambitious project, but also one which will leave a lasting legacy for Britain.

“It has been, therefore, a huge honour to have been its chief executive and to have been involved in creating a leadership team made up of the best talents from this country and elsewhere. I have absolute confidence in their ability to deliver the project and, in doing so, to help transform the way we do things in this country.”

Sir David Higgins, chair of HS2, said he was delighted for both Simon and Rolls Royce that he has been appointed to this position.

“Whilst naturally we will miss his experience and leadership, I also recognise that he is joining a truly great, global company in an industry in which he has previously worked,” he said.

“In his two and half years with the company, Simon has used his vast experience to recruit and shape a world-class team which over the coming years and decades will turn HS2 into a reality that will be of lasting benefit to this country.”

The HS2 project has faced criticism recently after a National Audit Office report said that it risks missing the target of delivering phase 1 by 2026.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, the head of the civil service, is currently conducting a review of the project to try to ensure that it stays within its £55bn budget.

Joe Rukin, campaign manager at Stop HS2, accused Kirby of “getting out before the true scale of the mess he has presided over is realised”.

Sir David announced that the search for Kirby’s replacement is ongoing, but that Mel Ewel, former chief executive of Amey, has been appointed as a non-executive director on the HS2 board.

“[Ewel’s] great experience in the construction industry speaks for itself, as does the huge respect in which he is held,” he said. “As such he will be a great asset to the Board’s deliberations as we move to the point of construction.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >