"Chief Operating Officer, the chairman of HS2, David Higgins, said:
"I am delighted for both Simon and Rolls Royce that he has been appointed to this position. Whilst naturally we will miss his experience and leadership, I also recognise that he is joining a truly great, global company in an industry in which he has previously worked.Simon Kirby said:
In his two and half years with the company, Simon has used his vast experience to recruit and shape a world class team which over the coming years and decades will turn HS2 into a reality that will be of lasting benefit to this country.
That team will continue that process as we start and complete the process of finding Simon's successor.
I am also delighted to be able to announce today the appointment of Mel Ewel, formerly Chief Executive of Amey, as a Non Executive Director. His great experience in the construction industry speaks for itself, as does the huge respect in which he is held. As such he will be a great asset to the Board's deliberations as we move to the point of construction.
"HS2 is not just a highly ambitious project, but also one which will leave a lasting legacy for Britain. It has been, therefore, a huge honour to have been its Chief Executive and to have been involved in creating a leadership team made up of the best talents from this country and elsewhere. I have absolute confidence in their ability to deliver the project and, in doing so, to help transform the way we do things in this country."