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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide share price steady following appointment of new COO

The share price of the UK's largest estate agency remained steady yesterday following its appointment of a new chief operating officer.

Countrywide has hired Bruce Marsh, a former Tesco finance director, who will report to group managing director Paul Creffield.

The agency's share price ticked up slightly yesterday, closing at 3.91p, a rise of just under 3%. However, it still remains woefully low compared to a peak of 599p in May 2015.

The share price fell below 100p in January 2018 and has failed to recover. It started at a price of 8.5p in January 2019 and has fallen to as low as 3.2p in June.

The Countrywide board says the appointment of Marsh is 'succession planning' and that it is committed to 'bringing in new talent and effective leadership'.

Prior to helping to oversee the recovery of Tesco, Marsh spent seven years at Kingfisher in broader business roles of group strategy director and managing director of Kingfisher Future Homes, where he launched its group innovation hub.

"Bruce brings valuable management experience and a proven track record that will assist the company's turnaround strategy, and his appointment will complement and strengthen the executive team both now and for the future," says Peter Long, Countrywide's executive chairman.

Marsh adds: "I am excited to join Countrywide and to help them with the next stage of their strategy. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the excellent leadership team at Tesco and am proud of the progress we've made over the last four years."

  • Andrew Stanton Estate Agency Insights Strategies

    Good news that Countrywide has appointed a new person, potentially bad news Bruce’s very successful career to date, appears to lack any experience in the property sector, unless home DIY can be counted and of course Dixons.

    I do hope that in the words of Britney they have not ‘done it again’ as Countrywide had previously installed a CEO the infamous and long-departed Alison Platt whose background was also anything but estate agency.

    During her four-year reign there was a 90% drop in the company’s share price. At least with the current share price at 3.9p, no-one can really harm the present fortunes of the company.
    True Bruce and Dave Lewis as a double act turned the fortune of Tesco around, following a programme of redundancies and re-modelling.

    But, the difference between Tesco and the Behemoth of Countrywide, is that Tesco when turning its fortunes around was in the top three of retailers in the world, Countrywide sadly is not in the same league as many of its competitors.

    The jury is out on whether it can survive, (as an ex-employee I hope it does) or it will have a programme of asset stripping and be consigned to history as yet another example of ‘big business’ failing to adapt to the realities of the ‘click generation’ who want service, and brands that deliver.

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