Andrew Wolstenholme joins from Balfour Beatty

Contractors have welcomed Andrew Wolstenholme’s appointment as the new chief executive of Crossrail.

Wolstenholme, who is currently director of innovation and strategic capability with Balfour Beatty, will take up his new role in September 2011.

Leading figures from the industry believe Wolstenholme’s knowledge of the industry will be beneficial for Crossrail and the contractors that work on it.

Commenting on the appointment John Frankiewicz, Willmott Dixon chief executive, said: “He brings an enormous track record of partnering that will be essential if we are to deliver the Crossrail project on time and budget.

“His previous experience with Procure 21 suggests to me that he is well versed in getting the best out of contractors.”

Wolstenholme was project director for the construction of the £4bn Heathrow T5. He also acted as construction director on the Heathrow Express Rail Link and as BAA’s director of capital projects.

James Wates, chairman of Wates also said Wolstenholme was a good choice for the job. He said: “I support the appointment because it’s important we have a client who knows and supports the industry. He’ll bring a wealth of experience from his BAA role which should stand him in good stead on this job.”

Alexander Jan, associate director at Arup, said: “It’s a clever choice appointing a Balfour guy to this role. Given his background he’ll understand the contractors’ take on Crossrail intimately.”

Wolstenholme will succeed Rob Holden who is stepping down in mid-July.