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Exclusive: Speculation grows over future of senior Countrywide director

Speculation is growing that one of the most senior executives in the Countrywide management team may be leaving the organisation.

Countrywide and the individual have been contacted for comment.

If correct - and this has not yet been confirmed - this would be one of the most senior board level departures in the rollercoaster recent history of Countrywide. 

Countrywide has been riven with high level resignations and departures for two years, following an initial reorganisation led by chief executive Alison Platt, who joined in September 2014

One of the most controversial elements of the reorganisation has been the introduction of an online option for vendors, who can have their properties listed on Rightmove and Zoopla for a fixed fee, and can then - if they wish - ‘upgrade’ to a full service from the local Countrywide branch.

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.

Other controversial initiatives have been the ending of a small number of Countrywide local brands and the merging of offices. The latest in a string of senior management changes in the past two years was announced in June.

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 £6.5m this year while 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 a year ago to 4.9 per cent in H1 2017.

The group's share price - at over 686.0 three and a half years ago - has recently been hovering around the 150.0 mark.

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