HS2’s commercial head Beth West is to leave the organisation to join Land Securities.
Construction News understands that Ms West is leaving HS2 for a role at the London-based developer after more than four-and-a-half years with the project.
As commercial director for HS2, Ms West was responsible for providing capability and procurement services to the delivery units leading on commercial strategy, land and property, stations and regeneration, and economic analysis.
During her time with the client, she has overseen billions of pounds-worth of procurement including the £900m enabling works contracts, the £300m phase one engineering delivery partner role, and the £270m development partner roles for both phases of the line.
The news of her departure comes a month ahead of the expected award of the £8.6bn civils contracts for phase one of the line.
During her tenure Ms West oversaw the procurement for the seven civils packages, which was launched in late 2015.
Ms West joined HS2 as commercial director from Thames Tideway Tunnel in October 2012, where she also held the role of head of commercial for the £4bn utilities project.
Prior to that, Ms West spent eight years at Transport for London as principal in the corporate finance team, as well as head of commercial advisory and risk for London Underground. She has also worked at Credit Suisse and Société Générale.
Alongside her rise as one of the top commercial directors for UK construction projects, Ms West has also worked to inspire a new generation of women to enter the industry.
Speaking to CN in March, Ms West argued that a pipeline of new female recruits into the sector was crucial to addressing the imbalance at the top of the profession.
“It’s about attraction, retention and promotion – no woman wants to be on a board just because she’s a woman,” she said.
“If the pipeline isn’t in parity, you’ve got an issue when you get to the top – you won’t have parity, or even a good balance.
“You have to continually look at how you attract people, then how you retain them and make them feel valued, and then how you promote them.”
HS2 declined to comment. Land Securities has been contacted for comment.