Amid growing criticism of the project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority
's Chairman of the Board Thomas J. Umberg announced the resignation of CEO Roelof van Ark, effective in two months.
"With admiration, I would like to thank Mr. van Ark for his service to California and the high-speed rail project. The announcement of his resignation will resonate throughout the State," said Umberg. "His energy, passion and dedication to this critically important project are a testament to his character and his professionalism. We are extremely lucky to have his continued counsel and advice as we move to implement high-speed rail in California. I remain grateful for his professionalism and friendship."
As part of the shakeup at the authority, Umberg will also vacate his position and recommend that Dan Richard, who was recently appointed to the board by Gov. Jerry Brown, assume his leadership role. Van Ark said he will leave in two months, while Umberg will step down in February, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The departure of van Ark comes a week after an independent review panel issued a critique of the project and refused to recommend that the state issue billions in bonds to help fund the first leg of the 520-mile project in the Central Valley.