Rightmove’s chairman Scott Forbes is to leave the company in 2020 after 14 years following a minor but significant shareholder revolt last year.
The announcement is buried deep in its annual report for 2018 published this morning and comes despite results that reveal Rightmove now charges agents over £1,000 each a month on average.
Also, Rightmove’s revenue increased by 10% to £243.3 million last year while profits also increased by 10% to £198.6 million, or nearly 82% of turnover.
Such a staggering profit margin was in part driven by an £83 increase in average revenue per advertiser/agent (ARPA) to £1,005 a month, the first time it has crossed the £1,000 mark.
This, and the return of £168.5 million to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks, hasn’t saved Scott Forbes.
At the company’s AGM last year a ‘significant minority’ of shareholders voted against the re-election of Forbes and his right hand man, senior independent director Peter Williams, over their board commitments.
Following discussions with shareholders, Forbes is to step down as chairman prior to next year’s AGM, while Williams is not to stand for re-election again this year.
“I’d like to personally thank Peter for his support and sage advice to me as Senior Independent Director as well as his valuable contributions to the Rightmove Board and all committees over the past five years,” says Forbes.
Forbes has been chairman of Rightmove for nearly 14 years but is also chairman of two other companies, global information firm Ascential.com and vehicle selling portal Cars.com.