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Purplebricks finally confirms appointment of new CEO

Following a series of unexplained delays, Helena Marston has now finally been confirmed as the new chief executive of beleaguered agency Purplebricks. 

In a note to the London Stock Exchange, the company revealed that Marston has today taken on the role following the completion of all required due diligence checks as required by the rules of the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

In line with these rules, the following disclosures have also been made:  


-  Marston, aged 39, does not currently hold any directorships or partnerships, nor has she held any directorships or partnerships within the past five years. 

-  Marston holds options over 1,983,282 ordinary shares of 1p each in the Company under the Purplebricks Performance Share Plan at an exercise price of 1p per share. 

-  Marston voluntarily declared herself bankrupt in September 2014 owing approximately £103,000 to creditors. This was discharged in September 2015. 

Paul Pindar, chairman of Purplebricks, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Helena to the Board as Chief Executive and I have every confidence that she is the right person to lead the Company. She has already shown great leadership and character during her two-year tenure and I look forward to working with her to deliver our growth plans.” 

Last month it was revealed that previous CEO Vic Darvey would be stepping down due to personal reasons and would be replaced by Marston on April 4. Joining Purplebricks in May 2020 as Chief People Officer (the agency’s name for head of personnel), she took over the role of Chief Operating Officer at the end of 2021, but has negligble estate agency experience. 

She previously held human resources roles at Virgin Media, Kuwait Energy, Jaguar Land Rover and Vodafone.

However, her official appointment on April 4 was mysteriously delayed, with due diligence checks not yet complete.

It was then reported by The Telegraph that the checks were taking longer than expected because Marston had a previous personal bankruptcy that was not revealed to Purplebricks’ shareholders when her appointment to the role was announced to the markets on March 10 - and something that has now been confirmed in the note to the LSE.

The newspaper reported that Marston was declared bankrupt under her maiden name of Epplestone in September 2014, before the bankruptcy was subsequently discharged.

Sources told The Telegraph that an internal discussion was being had about whether it should also be revealed to investors in the stock market notice on March 10 that announced her appointment. Details were allegedly included in a draft version of this announcement, but then removed.

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    Why would you point new CEO who haven’t ever been associated in the property industry???

    Mark Walmsley

    Neither had Vic or any of the board when I last looked to be honest with you? Apologies if this is incorrect.

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    Just looking at her history, it seems she's just another corporate mover and shaker. The kind of person who couldn't live in the entrepreneurial world so makes a living on the back of investor's capital. The kind of appointment big, stupid companies make.

    It'd be interesting to see how she racked up £103,000 worth of debt on her way to bankruptcy? A lot of these types think that starting & running a real business is easy and end up finding out the hard way. Or could just be the classic, image obsession that leads to living beyond their means.

    Either way, I'd be amazed if she acheives anything of note with PB. It's like musical chairs with this bunch... someone is going to be in the hotseat when they inevitably tank, & they'll be made the scapegoat.


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