UK

Next HS2 boss could be paid more than predecessor

The next boss of HS2 Ltd could be paid more than the £677,000 per year their predecessor received despite the project being curtailed, MPs have been told (Jacob King/PA)
The next boss of HS2 Ltd could be paid more than the £677,000 per year their predecessor received despite the project being curtailed, MPs have been told (Jacob King/PA) The next boss of HS2 Ltd could be paid more than the £677,000 per year their predecessor received despite the project being curtailed, MPs have been told (Jacob King/PA)

The next boss of HS2 Ltd could be paid more than the £677,000 per year their predecessor received despite the project being curtailed, MPs have been told.

Sir Jon Thompson, executive chairman of HS2 Ltd, told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) the salary to be offered for the vacant role is being assessed by ministers.

Mark Thurston, who left his role as chief executive in September, had a pay package worth £677,000 in the 2022/23 financial year.

Mark Thurston
Mark Thurston Former HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston had a pay package worth £677,000 (Joe Giddens/PA)

Last month, the Government stripped HS2 Ltd of its responsibility for Euston station, and axed plans to extend the high-speed railway from Birmingham to Manchester.

Asked by the PAC about the progress in starting the search for a new chief executive, Sir Jon said: “The only outstanding issue is the question of salary, which is currently with ministers.

“My recommendation to ministers is that we change the reward structure so that it’s much more heavily incentivised towards meeting the schedule and delivering to the lowest possible cost.

“So it will be a lower base than Mr Thurston but there will be more opportunity to earn a higher salary if you meet all the necessary targets on schedule and cost.

“That is currently under consideration by ministers.”