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Countrywide: architect of 'online option' is latest to leave

Sources within Countrywide say the latest senior management figure to leave the company is Sam Tyrer, who under her title of ‘Managing Director Retail’ was effectively the head of estate and lettings agency operations. 

Estate Agent Today asked Countrywide if it wished to deny the departure and a spokesman said: "We do not comment on speculation."

Tyrer was thought to have been involved in the branch closure programme of approaching 60 estate agency offices last year and was considered by many to be - alongside chief executive Alison Platt - the architect of Countrywide’s controversial ‘multi-channel’ digital proposition.

This allowed vendors in many areas of the country to select an online-only sales option if they wished, which listed their properties on Rightmove and Zoopla. Vendors could, if they wished, later upgrade to a full service option through a local Countrywide agency office.

By the end of last month, Countrywide reported that over 50 per cent of its remaining agency branches - following its 2016 closure programme - were offering the oline option.

It is thought that this latest management departure will have no impact on the online project.

In figures released to the City a few weeks ago, Countrywide’s operating profit of £28.3m in the first half of 2016 dropped to just £6.5m this year.

Revenues were down from £370.3m to £333m and sales transactions fell from 33,940 to 27,100. 

Countrywide’s share of housing transactions dropped again from 5.1 per cent in the first half of 2016 to 4.9 per cent in H1 2017.

The group's share price - at over 686.0 some three and a half years ago - this morning continued to trade at its recent level of between 150.0 and 160.0.

Tyrer joined the organisation in September 2015 from Dixons Carphone where she was retail and services director, responsible for 9,000 people across 1,100 stores. 

Earlier this year, in an interview with Nat Daniels of Angels Media, publisher of Estate Agent Today, Tyrer said her task at Countrywide had been to help the group pursue “a bold strategy that gives us greater resilience to navigate the current and foreseeable market.”

She said at the time that her biggest success has been the launch of what is known within Countrywide as the ‘multi-channel pilot’, which includes digital services to customers such as online sales and link-ups with digital service providers such as Fixflo.During the interview - just over six months ago - Tyrer said the pilot was “seeing fantastic results”. 

Estate Agent Today has asked Tyrer for her comments.

  • Dan Reasons

    If true, this is a hard one to read, Sam wasn't in the industry for all that long all things considered so maybe she just wants to go back to retail?

    Or maybe she's been plucked out by someone else to do start a similar project elsewhere. Connells never replaced Adam Day and the timing is about right. Their online service doesn't really get shouted about all that much so maybe they're going to rack it up a bit?

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    She hasn't exactly succeeded has she. Other than signing off on a huge marketing budget and cannibalising CW's own market share.

     
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    Big shame - would love to know more.........................

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    Wonder if Margaret will take over

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    I read it that she failed and is out. The agency side of the business has failed greatly. When compared to LSL and others CW has performed awfully. Profit is king and there's less of it than ever despite the aggressive cost cutting measures. She clearly didn't understand the business, the industry or the staff.

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