Countrywide’s chief executive Alison Platt is to become a non-executive director of Tesco.
The announcement by the supermarket to the City this morning said:
Alison Platt is the Chief Executive of Countrywide plc, the UK's largest property services group, and has a wealth of relevant experience of the property sector and customer service delivery. She also has significant business to business and international commercial experience. Alison was previously Managing Director at Bupa, responsible for International Development Markets, and has held a range of senior posts including Chief Operating Officer of the UK private hospitals business at Bupa and a number of senior positions in British Airways. She is a non-executive director of Cable & Wireless Communications plc, and was previously chair of 'Opportunity Now', which seeks to accelerate change for women in the workplace. Alison was also a non-executive director of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 2005 and 2010.
Some nine years ago tesco launched Tesco Property Market, encouraging vendors to market their homes without a traditional estate agency for £199; they were given a For Sale board but had to handle the creation of their own particulars and manage viewings.
But the now-defunct Office of Fair Trading deemed the service to be an estate agency, thus requiring sellers’ details to comply with the Property Misdescriptions Act (1991); Tesco rapidly closed the enterprise.
Alison Platt has spent her time as Countrywide chief executive turning the business into what she calls a more ‘retail-focussed’ exercise, and has made it clear that she wants to open some kind of online service for sellers.