Countrywide’s Executive Chairman Peter Long yesterday stepped down from one of his several non-executive director positions outside the company to “reduce” his business commitments.
The move comes as Countrywide struggles to find a new CEO, a hard role to fill when the embattled company’s share price has been plummeting in recent months following several downbeat trading updates.
The 64-year-old has quit his non-exec role at global theme park and zoo operator Parques Reunidos. He joined it in early 2016 to help the company following an IPO.
“After careful consideration of my overall business commitments, I made the decision some time ago to reduce them. I am therefore stepping down now from the Parques Board,” says Peter Long.
“[And] after careful consideration of where Parques is in its development and discussions with the Board, I have concluded that it now requires a Chairman who is able to give considerably more time to the business than had originally been envisaged and that I am unable to fill given my overall business commitments.”
Peter Long joined Countrywide in February 2016 as a non-exec Director before becoming its non-exec Chairman later that year. He had little or no track record within the property industry before being hired, having previously gained most of his experience in the travel sector.
But Long’s qualities and experiences were, at the time, those that now that former CEO Alison Platt cherished in her bid to turn Countrywide into a ‘retail’ company.
Long was appointed full-time Executive Chairman after Platt resigned in January this year. His remaining non-exec positions include being chairman of Royal Mail and a Supervisory Board Member of TUI Group. He also works for London-based senior leaders’ mentoring firm J&A Mentoring Partnership.