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Purplebricks’ finance chief resigns amid company’s fight to survive crisis

Talk about timing! James Davies is to leave on 8th May and will be replaced by Zoopla's former CFO Andy Botha.

Nigel Lewis

The Group Chief Financial Officer of Purplebricks, James Davies, has resigned from the company and is to be replaced by a former senior member of the Zoopla management team.

Davies has been with Purplebricks since May 2017 and joined from betting giant William Hill, but has not given any reason for his departure.

The writing was on the wall, however, when the usually reticent Davies gave a candid ‘swansong’ interview to a business magazine recently, in which he criticised its attempt to break into the US, explains why its Australia business flailed and denied that any of its online reviews were fake.

“I joined when it was a nascent challenger brand and today it ranks as the UK’s largest estate agency by volume,” says Davies today.

“I am proud to have been on that journey. Notwithstanding the current COVID-19 circumstances, the Company is in a strong financial position and ready for its exciting next stage of development and success.”
Davies’ last day will be on 8th May and he will be replaced by Andy Botha (left) who was Zoopla’s CFO until June 2019 but who, after a three month hiatus, joined upmarket online travel platform Secret Escapes where he has been in post for just eight months.

His previous experience prior to joining Zoopla included roles at Lastminute.com, Betfair and Notonthehighstreet.com.

Paul Pindar, Chairman of Purplebricks, says: “On behalf of the Board I would like to thank James for his hard work and dedication during his tenure at Purplebricks. We wish him the very best with his future endeavours.

“I am delighted to welcome Andy to the Board as Chief Financial Officer. Andy has a remarkable track record in growing digital businesses, and I look forward to working with him and the executive management team to execute Purplebricks’s strategy.”

April 17, 2020

3 comments

  1. Just to help, James Davies CFO, why is he leaving now? Well has it to do with the 30th of April 2020? The day that marks the end of Purplebricks financial year? I think so.

    The figures are in and someone has to walk the plank. We mere mortals may not hear what the Purplebricks financials really are until June, but we know that cash reserves will be through the floor, and income will have stalled pre-Covid-19.

    With Toscafund divesting in Purplebricks and the share price dropping like a brick post the revelation of 18M of fee being held by Purplebricks ‘for not selling’ over 21,000 properties for disappointed vendors in 2019, we are possibly at the end of Purplebricks in its present form.

    The questions that remain are, will Axel Springer take full control and take it private?

    Will it then become – further automated and a vendor list service … the ultimate agent lite experience? I think we will soon see.

  2. I am not surprised. Although many thinks Purplebricks is a great platform I personally think that to pay £1,499 to buy a listing space on Zoopla and Rightmove (which is basically all Purplebricks have to offer) is a lot of money.

    Best
    Matteo

  3. How much longer has this company got…Has it ever made a real profit…
    How do they get away with being paid for not selling houses….
    Share price at 36 pence and dropping….
    OK idea badly executed….

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