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  • You are here:HS2

HS2: Four board members exit as shake-up continues

HS2 has made wholesale changes to its non-executive boardroom team with the departure of four of its governing team, Construction News can reveal.

The client has parted company with non-executive directors Christine Emmett, Neil Masom, Duncan Sutherland and Baroness Jo Valentine.

HS2 launched its search for three new non-executive board members at the end of last month.

It is the responsibility of the transport secretary to appoint new members of the board.

Non-executive directors at the client are expected to provide oversight of how the project is run, holding HS2’s leadership to account when needed and offering alternative perspectives to conventional thinking, according to the job specification.

The job criteria for the new roles also reveal that the organisation is seeking board members to assist with HS2’s shift in focus, as it moves from being a project planning organisation to a delivery body that will build and operate the line.

The positions all pay £950 per day working two days a month, with applications closing on 1 November.

Non-exec requirements

New board members will be expected to have specialist skills and experience in one of three specified sectors.

  • Large and complex railway operations and interoperability between different systems;
  • Property and regeneration of varying scale, delivered in partnership with multiple stakeholders and through a range of different – and innovative – funding and financing mechanisms;
  • Strategic planning and organisational development.

The longest-serving board member to depart is Mr Sutherland, who leaves having spent six years on the HS2 board.

He was appointed in 2012 on a three-year term, which was extended by a further three in 2015.

Before joining HS2, Mr Sutherland held senior development roles at several local authorities.

He served as Coventry council’s director of city development as well as chief executive of the property and investment arm of the City of Edinburgh Council.

Ms Emmett, Baroness Valentine and Mr Masom all joined the HS2 board in October 2014.

Ms Emmett’s background is in project risk assessment, including experience of reviewing high-profile projects in the health and transport sectors for the UK, Welsh and Scottish governments.

Baroness Valentine was the chief executive of business group London First until 2016, having joined the organisation in 1997. She became a crossbench peer in October 2005 and sits on the House of Lords select committee.

Mr Masom worked across a number of senior positions in the civil aviation and defence sectors with BAE Systems, specialising in customer services, supply chain and information management.

HS2 has made a number of high-profile additions to its management team this year.

The most significant of these was the appointment of former Crossrail executive Sir Terry Morgan as chairman in July, a move subsequently criticised by Lord Adonis in the wake of Crossrail’s delay.

A HS2 spokesperson said: “HS2 are seeking three new board members following the contracts of previous members coming to an end.

“This will add to the wealth of rail and construction experience already in place as construction continues to ramp up.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • Can we please have a non Big 4 auditing firm calculate if these 4 departing non-executive directors were value for money at £950 per day or has the taxpayer been ripped of again?

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  • Just some of the HS2 related Construction News stories in the last 12 months

    02/10/18 - HS2 at 10: The costs, conflicts and controversy
    04/10/18 - HS2’s skills college: What’s holding it back?
    02/10/18 - HS2: the grenade that must not be chucked
    31/08/18 - The C-word… help us investigate
    29/03/18 - Carillion: DfT slammed for refusing to disclose HS2 assessment
    22/03/18 - HS2 boss Mark Thurston's first interview: Conflicts, contracts and Carillion
    15/12/17 - HS2 redundancy payments: MPs slam 'shocking' waste of money
    13/11/17 - HS2 gets new HR chief following redundancy payments scandal
    02/11/17 - HS2 hires new finance director after redundancy payment scandal
    31/10/17 - HS2's reputation is tarnished, it must restore public trust
    31/10/17 - HS2 redundancy scandal: MP asks if former CEO's actions were fraudulent

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