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Rightmove shares wobble as CEO reveals exit plan

Peter Brooks-Johnson joined the company 16 years ago and got the top job in 2017, but is now off to new pastures.

Nigel Lewis

Rightmove’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Brooks-Johnson has revealed that he is to step down from his leadership role at the company ‘in the coming year’.

The news led to Rightmove’s shares dropping by around 4% yesterday as investors worried about the portal losing one of its long-standing senior team members, but later recovered.

Brooks-Johnson, who has worked at Rightmove for over 16 years and steered it with mixed success through the pandemic will leave in February 2023 when the company announces its full-year results.

After a degree at the University of Newcastle he worked in business management consultancy including a spell at Marks & Spencer before joining Rightmove in 2006 as its Director of Agency, then working his way up the senior ranks until getting the MD job in 2011.

He was then made COO in 2013 and CEO in 2017.

Turbulent times

His last job saw the portal endure one of its most turbulent times as its initial reaction to the pandemic and the impact on its member agents didn’t land well and the portal then offered agents a fee-free period to get them through the initial lockdowns.

Now that Brooks-Johnson is going, the Board “will now commence a comprehensive process to identify his successor”.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey at Rightmove, working with a hugely talented team who have taught me an immeasurable amount,” he says.

“Rightmove is an amazing company, with a clear focus and a relentless energy to innovate, which it has been a privilege to serve.

“I’d also like to thank our customers for their support and loyalty over the past 16 years.

“With Rightmove progressing well on its mission to make home moving easier and our strong trading from 2021 continuing into 2022, I have decided it is an appropriate time to seek a new challenge.

“I continue to be hugely enthusiastic about the Company and the opportunities we see ahead. I have no doubt that Rightmove will continue to deliver for home hunters, customers and shareholders for many years to come.”

Disappointed

andrew fisher rightmoveAndrew Fisher (pictured), its Chair, adds: “Peter has made a significant contribution to the success of Rightmove over the past 16 years and whilst we are disappointed that he will be leaving the business, we understand his decision.

“Under Peter’s leadership Rightmove has helped make home moving easier and with a robust strategy and very strong team, the Company is well placed to pursue the opportunities ahead. We will all miss Peter greatly and wish him continued success in his future career.

“I look forward to working with Peter to ensure a smooth transition and given Rightmove’s strong market position we are confident we will attract a high-calibre successor.”

May 9, 2022

3 comments

  1. With all real estate operations looking very closely at their costs, and with the economic headwinds likely to be the worst for 40 plus years, the ‘new’ CEO will have some real issues to deal with day one. Not to mention re-booting the very dated brand which has failed to produce agent and consumer UX.

    By 2030, the concept of paying huge fees for listing a property on a digital billboard will sit very badly with tech savvy estate agency owners who realise the true ultra low cost of the portal models, and look to invest internally to digitally grow their own brands – not someone elses.

    • The costs aren’t in listing, the cost are in marketing a business with low engagement. So, whilst this is a property platform, the challenge is its limited by the 1m properties a year that list and so CAC costs are high because your recruiting every year.
      if the model changed (different business) to one with regular engagement for any household (28m) their CAC would be significantly lower with potentially much greater opportunity… This is the innovators dilemma, how do you convince the board to cannibalise a cash cow…

  2. His work is done now heading to the beach good luck

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