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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Exclusive: Countrywide loses three more top managers in latest restructure

Another three senior management figures have left Countrywide as the restructuring of Britain’s largest estate and letting agency continues apace.

The latest departures are Steve Richmond who is Operations Managing Director of Countrywide Residential Lettings; and Simon Hayter who is Group Head of Analytics at Countrywide Plc; and Simon Springett, the Information Technology Services Director.

Countrywide has officially confirmed to Estate Agent Today that the three are leaving, with a spokeswoman saying they are “pursuing other opportunities” and that Countrywide “wishes them well.”

Meanwhile unofficial sources inside Countrywide suggest there are further significant announcements to be made before Christmas.

Today’s news is merely the latest in a long line of departures as a result of the dramatic reshaping of the group under chief executive Alison Platt.

The high-level blood-letting this year started in May when the managing director of estate agency group, Bob Scarff, and the group commercial director, Nick Dunning, both stepped aside at short notice. 

Then in July a retail guru from Carphone Warehouse, a former Lloyds Banking Group chief and a human resources expert from private healthcare company BUPA were amongst a raft of senior new appointments made by Alison Platt, the ex-British Airways, ex-BUPA high-flier who became Countrywide chief executive late last year. 

One of the high-profile departures this autumn was Peter Young as managing director of John D Wood, while perhaps the most surprising move was that of Chief Digital Officer Alex Bailes who is formally leaving Countrywide at the end of this year - his exit was announced a few days after he spoke at a high-profile industry conference, outlining the online and social media future for the organisation.

At the same time as there were departures, Countrywide reorganised its senior structure into a much more retail-focused shape, with acquisitions, a reduction in individual brand totals, and the growth of lettings as strategic objectives.

Earlier this month Countrywide revealed operating profits in the first nine months of the year were down 11 per cent compared to the same period of 2014. The company also admitted that full-year profits were likely to fall short of its 2014 total of £121.1m and that sales volumes for the full 2015 year would be at least five per cent below last year’s total.

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