New chair will help select chief executive from five shortlisted candidates

The new chair of the body designed to lead the regeneration of the Olympic park after the Games will help finalise the leadership team within weeks.

It is understood Labour peer Baroness Margaret Ford has been selected to chair the special purpose vehicle being created to drive forward the regeneration plans for 10,000 homes and 10,000 jobs in the area after 2012, as predicted by Building magazine.

Ford will now be involved in the selection of a chief executive to lead body, with interviews of those on the shortlist due to take place today, according to those close to the process. A shortlist of up to five candidates was due to be interviewed as Building went to press.

Sources close to the process say Margaret Ford was chosen as chair late last week after an interview with London mayor Boris Johnson, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and communities secretary Hazel Blears.

The appointment is due to be announced early next week, once terms are agreed.

Ford may have to step down from her role as a managing director at the Royal Bank of Canada and devote three days a week to the Olympics job. She was unable to comment.

The proposed creation of the special purpose vehicle was first revealed by Building in 2007, and was confirmed by Johnson in February this year. It will not own land or have planning powers but will work with partners to bring forward the legacy development, including the redevelopment of the £350m media centre.

Neither the communities department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport nor the Greater London Authority were able to comment before Building went to press.