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  • You are here:HS2

CH2M chooses HS2 bid lead to replace new HS2 CEO

The woman who led CH2M’s successful bid to become HS2’s phase two development partner has been appointed as the US engineering giant’s new European managing director, Construction News understands.

Rachel White will be promoted from her role as European sales director to the role vacated by Mark Thurston, who left the company this month ahead of becoming HS2’s new chief executive.

Ms White is understood to have been a leading figure in the company’s successful bid to secure the £170m development partner role for phase two of the £55.7bn rail link.

A CH2M spokesman said: “We will make an announcement in due course.”

Construction News reported last week that CH2M had won the £170m contract, being chosen ahead of Bechtel and a joint venture between Mace and Turner & Townsend.

Mace revealed yesterday that it was mulling over whether to challenge the decision, which comes to the end of its standstill period on Monday.

The award came amid concerns over a conflict of interest after another former CH2M European managing director – Roy Hill – was appointed interim chief executive of HS2 during the procurement process for the job.

Mr Hill is working at HS2 on secondment from CH2M.

CH2M’s was the third major HS2 contract won by CH2M in the past five years, after it secured the £70m phase one development partner role in 2012 and – as part of a JV with Atkins and Sener – bagged the £350m phase one engineering delivery partner role in March 2016.

HS2 said it had carried out its most robust procurement process for the phase two development partner award, including getting assurances from CH2M that it would enforce a Chinese wall between its bid team and its employees already working for HS2.

Mr Thurston is expected to officially join HS2 in March, with his appointment coming ahead of the awarding of £11.8bn of civils contracts.

Ms White joined CH2M as a result of the company’s acquisition of Halcrow in 2011.

She has been the company’s client director and strategic sales director, as well as project director for a number of major projects both at Halcrow and CH2M.

Construction News reported earlier this week that CH2M was paid in excess of £100m through its development partner contract for phase one of HS2 – substantially more than expected when the contract was signed.

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