Chief of major property firm quits after disagreement over future strategy

David Allen

Wates chief executive David Allen stepped down with immediate effect yesterday after four years in the role.

The firm’s near 4,000 staff were told on Thursday that Allen was leaving and is being replaced on an interim basis by chief financial officer Philip Wainwright.

It is understood that Allen and the board had a major disagreement over the future direction of the business with the board deciding to look for new leadership as a consequence.

Allen joined the Wates Group in January 2016 and has been CEO of the £1.2bn turnover business since April 2018.

Wates recently revealed that it had achieved its highest-ever operating profit of £40m after a bumper year of orders.

Chairman Sir James Wates commented: “During his time as our CEO, David’s intelligence, commitment, and compassion has stood the organisation in good stead and in particular ensured that the Wates Group successfully responded to the challenges of the pandemic.

“The board thanks David for his contributions and wishes him the very best for the future.”

He added: “We have an outstanding management team in place, and we have the right long-term strategy – both to take advantage of market opportunities as well as to meet our objective of handing over to the next generation of family ownership a stronger, more sustainable enterprise.”

“The board of the Wates Group has initiated the process to identify a new CEO, and further information will be announced in due course.”



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  1. undercover agent

    I wonder what the details of the disagreement were. Did one want more branches while the other wanted a more “serviced offices” trading style?  Did one want “high fees” while the other wanted “low fees”? Was it just a disagreement about the colours of the new logo? Without the detail, it’s hard to know what to make of this story.

    1. AcornsRNuts

      I agree, more information would be useful, but perhaps NDAs have been signed.


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