Former chief executive at Crossrail and Heathrow Terminal 5 takes free-ranging post at engineering consultant

The former chief executive of Crossrail and Heathrow Terminal 5, Norman Haste, has joined the engineering firm High-Point Rendel.

Haste, 60, who left the £10bn Crossrail project in May, will act as operations director of the consultancy, which has 14 offices in 13 countries.

He will work with chief executive Kevin Hingley and chairman Sir Alan Cockshaw on winning large projects, which could include the Olympics and Crossrail.

This could be seen as a demotion for a business leader of the stature of Haste, who had been touted as a possible chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority. However, it is thought that he will have a relatively free role, heading the firm’s charge for new work.

Haste could not be contacted as Building went to press, but a spokesperson for High-Point Rendel said he was delighted to have joined the practice.

Haste’s decision to step down as chief executive of Crossrail in May after three years in the post came as a surprise to industry watchers and prompted concern about a leadership vacuum at the £10bn project.

In a statement at the time, Haste said: “Now that the project has started its parliamentary approval process, the time is right to pass the baton on to a successor who will be able to carry the project on into construction.”

Prior to his appointment to Crossrail in May 2002, Haste had been chief executive of the UK’s largest construction project, Heathrow Terminal 5, which is about half the value of Crossrail.

In 1996 Haste was awarded the OBE for services to civil engineering. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institution of Highways and Transportation.

He is also a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of the Chartered Profession of Engineers of Australia.

Crossrail is a joint venture between the government and Transport for London. It is intended to provide speedy travel from towns to the west of London such as Reading in Berkshire through Heathrow airport and central London to Docklands and the Thames Gateway.

The project has suffered constant hold-ups and there are doubts over how the cost of construction will be met.