The long haul back for Countrywide appears to have begun with the first major name who left during the Alison Platt era now returning to the fold.
Keith Knight rejoins today as managing director, sales and lettings, south east - effectively the role he held when he was at the company before.
Knight joined Countrywide in 1999 as regional director and went on to lead the South East - which then had around 100 branches. Shortly prior to leaving Countrywide in summer 2016 his title was changed to ‘retail director’ for the south east.
Most recently he has been at Arun Estates as senior operations director for 17 months.
“It’s an exciting time to be coming back to a business I know so well having spent nearly 14 years of my career there. The people, network and complementary products are unrivalled. With the focus on ‘back to basics’ we can start to build momentum and challenge in this increasingly competitive market” says Knight.
Meanwhile Paul Creffield - now group operations director and one of three leaders of the group, alongside the executive chairman and chief financial officer - commented: “Bringing Keith back to Countrywide reinforces our commitment of ensuring we have industry experts leading our teams and our businesses. I’m looking forward to working with Keith again as we focus on our core sales and lettings business and restore business growth.”
Last week executive chairman Peter Long unveiled a ‘back to basics’ programme aimed at increasing the group’s drastically-reduced market share by emphasising traditional sales and lettings activities in branches and scrapping the Platt-era online experiment.
Also last week, Long revealed that in 2017 Countrywide’s pre-tax profits more than halved to £25.2m, while across sales and lettings in London earnings fell 44 per cent to £11.5m. The company is cutting head office jobs to 300 from 450 in a bid to reduce costs.