Countrywide chairman Peter Long is to step back from his role as executive chairman at Countrywide to make way for a new CEO, Sky News reported last night.
The 68-year-old has been running the troubled estate agency giant since he orchestrated the departure of Alison Platt in January 2018 after her ‘retail’ approach to estate agency led to disastrous results at the company.
Sky News reports that Countrywide has now embarked upon a search for a new CEO and has contracted a head hunter, and Long is expected to step back from the day-to-day running of the PLC once one is found, although he will remain on the board for the foreseeable future.
Long’s departure from the executive team comes just four months after Countrywide and LSL embarked upon a failed attempt to merge.
Other notable low points during Long’s tenure at the top include the failed attempt to sell its commercial arm Lambert Smith Hampton to a Monaco-based entrepreneur, and the decision by former Tesco boss
Bruce Marsh not to take the role of Chief Operating Officer at Countrywide after initially accepting the offer.
Long also came under fire for holding several non-exec roles at other companies, and eventually quit his Royal Mail chairman role despite initially declining to do so.
He was initially praised for his decision to bring several old hand back to the business, the company’s ‘return to basics’ including the appointment of Paul Creffield as managing director, and its recent return to profit.
But only a few months ago high-profile former Countrywide estate agency boss Bob Scarff said he’d run company differently, suggesting its mortgage and estate agency arms should be reconnected.