Cross London Rail Links is expected to have a new chief executive in place by the beginning of next year, as delays to the appointment of the design team are revealed.

The organisation in charge of the £16bn Crossrail project is to divide the role of executive chairman Doug Oakervee into two, Construction News reported this week. A new chairman will first be appointed by project sponsors the Department for Transport and Transport for London. The chairman will then help appoint a chief executive.

CN reported that Oakervee, 67, is expected to put his name forward for the role of chairman but quoted a source at the DfT on the likelihood that he will still be in the role when the first Crossrail services open in 2017: “I expect he will apply for the role of the chairman but it is unlikely that he will be there for the duration of the project.”

The management shake-up comes as Building reported that the design teams for seven stations on the project were to be appointed three months later than expected. The architects and engineers, many of which have already worked on the scheme, are unlikely to find out whether they have been appointed to the scheme’s design framework until the end of the year.

The delay is a result of CTRL’s request that the firms shortlisted after responding to a notice in the Official Journal in April go through another round of bidding. Crossrail told Building: “We are on track to select our partners by the end of this year.”