Rob Holden will leave this year to “explore new opportunities”

Rob Holden, chief executive of Crossrail Limited, has announced he will step down in the coming year.

He said that will the project having been approved by the comprehensive spending review, “Crossrail needs a chief executive who can commit to lead right through to opening in 2018”.

In a statement, Crossrail said that he would leave during 2011 “to explore new opportunities”.

The comprehensive spending review approved the construction of Crossrail, but shaved £1.4bn off its budget and set its completion date back a year to 2018.

Holden said: “I am proud to have led the Crossrail team over the past two years, and to have seen the project receive an unequivocal green light from Government in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review. With the project moving into its construction phase, Crossrail needs a chief executive who can commit to lead right through to opening in 2018.”

“I leave Crossrail confident that, with its funding firmly in place, a robust delivery plan, clear governance and a strong delivery team, Crossrail is now well set to move forward to a successful launch,” he said.

Holden joined from London and Continental Railways in 2009. Crossrail said they will now begin to identify a successor.

Terry Morgan, Crossrail chairman, said: “We regret his decision to step down but respect it. He leaves the project in great shape and we are on firm foundations to maintain our momentum to deliver this critically important project for the UK, on time and within budget.”