The head of the £2.3 billion Crossrail project in London is taking over as chairman of HS2.
Sir Terry Morgan will succeed Sir David Higgins in the role next month, spearheading the delivery of the new high-speed line from London to Birmingham and the North West.
Sir Terry was appointed in 2009 as chairman of Crossrail, the new rail line running from Reading and Heathrow via central London to the east of the capital.
He was formerly chief executive of Tube Lines, a company which maintained and upgraded the infrastructure of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines in London and also held senior roles at BAE Systems, Rover Group and the Chartered Management Institute.
Sir Terry was also chairman of the new National College for High Speed Rail which opened in Birmingham last year.
He said: "It is a privilege to take up this crucial role with HS2 - a railway that will help transform this country through better connections for over 300,000 passengers every single day.
"HS2 will be a driving force behind greater prosperity and productivity across the country, unlocking opportunities for growth and regeneration and building a transport network fit for the future.
"I look forward to meeting the team and beginning the vital work of taking this magnificent project from strength to strength."
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP added: "Sir Terry's appointment as chairman of HS2 ensures we will continue to see world-class leadership in an exciting period for one of Europe's most significant infrastructure projects, helping deliver huge economic growth and improvements for passengers across the country.
"His wealth of experience and expertise, demonstrated in numerous leading roles including overseeing the ambitious Crossrail project, as well as his respected reputation and enthusiasm, will be invaluable in the project's continued success."
HS2 is due to announce the appointment of a new chief operating officer and chief finance officer in the coming weeks.