Purplebricks’ official statement on the departure of chief marketing officer Ben Carter merely says he’s leaving at the end of the year - and does not come with the usual management courtesy of thanks and good wishes for the future.
Estate Agent Today carried the news yesterday afternoon that Carter had announced his plan to depart on social media - the second senior figure leaving the troubled agency in as many weeks.
But instead of the usual management send-off - giving thanks for his work and good wishes for his new role - a terse Purplebricks statement to Estate Agent Today merely said: “Ben Carter will be leaving his role as Purplebricks chief marketing officer at the end of year, having accepted a new position in another sector. A new CMO will be joining Purplebricks in the new year and this will be announced shortly.”
Carter’s departure - he's off to furnishings company Dunelm just days after the no-notice departure of lettings head Helen Ogden - follows a collapse in Purplebricks’ share price and a damning story on the agency in the Financial Times at the weekend.
That story was headlined ‘The Purplebricks Puzzle’ and considered why that agency, alongside other online firms, had made no significant inroads in terms of market share; indeed, Purplebricks recently issued a profits warnings, claiming a difficult half year of trading despite most of that period falling within the stamp duty holiday.
The FT piece considered the 75 per cent share price plummet for Purplebricks this year, the current possible law case on behalf of former workers over employment rights, and the mystery of how many tenant deposits it failed to lodge with any official deposit protection scheme for an unknown period of time.
The FT says Purplebricks has “run aground.” The agency is declining to comment on the newspaper story.
Meanwhile the Purplebricks share price continues to languish at little over 30p - it’s lost 75 per cent of its value this year, and is now running at only a third of the original listing price when the agency was placed on the stock exchange in 2015.