Countrywide brings in new top executive as part of succession planning

Countrywide has appointed a new chief operating officer.

Bruce Marsh has considerable experience of turning around a large company, having joined Tesco in 2015 as finance director after the giant supermarket chain reported the biggest loss in retail corporate history of £6.4bn.

Tesco has now turned itself around, with profits of £494m. As well as Marsh’s departure, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis is also leaving, with his departure announced but not due until next summer.

Marsh will be joining Countrywide at a date to be confirmed.

He will report to group managing director Paul Creffield and will serve as an executive director on the board.

A statement by Countrywide to the London stock exchange yesterday said: “Succession planning is a key area for the board and this appointment demonstrates our commitment to bringing in new talent and effective leadership as we drive and deliver our turnaround strategy.”

Countrywide executive chairman Peter Long said: “Bruce brings valuable management experience and a proven track record that will assist the company’s turnaround strategy.

“His appointment will complement and strengthen the executive team both now and for the future.”

Marsh, who is from a retail background which includes Dixons and Kingfisher, said: “I am excited to join Countrywide and to help them with the next stage of their strategy.”

Countrywide has made no move to replace its former CEO, Alison Platt, whose retail approach to Countrywide ended with her departure in January 2018.

The appointment of Marsh is notable partly because it is the first hire of such seniority since Platt’s departure, and partly because the announcement uses the words ‘succession planning’, sounding a note of confidence in Countrywide’s future.

Yesterday Countrywide shares initially jumped to over 4p at the news, but settled back to about 3.9p.

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  1. AgencyInsider

    Appointing someone with a Tesco/retail background eh? That went well last time.

    1. brokerofexcellence

      Well they are going back to basics, I had assumed the basics were pre-2015 not post though………

  2. Hillofwad71

    Well  prior to joining Tesco he was MD of Kingfisher Future Homes Ltd which was liquidated  after incurring heavy losses

    .Maybe that is what they have got planned for CWD !

    The irony is not lost he was joined at Tesco  by non othe rthan Alison Platt herself albeit in a non -executive role !



    1. smile please

      Not as silly as it sounds, a lot of people have said the only way to save CW is to break it up.

      Profitable lettings, conveyancing, F/S and Lettings which can all be bolted on to other well run national firms.

      Maybe they are seriously looking to sell it off piece by piece.

      1. AgentQ73

        Would conveyancing and FS be profitable without the support of the sales offices ?

        1. brokerofexcellence

          In reality, FS businesses these days don’t need an estate agent to refer business. We came away from agency referrals last year in favour of web based leads which are a) cheaper and b) less forced in to seeing us as there is no regional manager shouting at staff to put <low quality> bums on seats. Countrywide FS has a huge back book of remortgage business, and can supplement this with PPC or web based leads without the need for the cost centre a high street office offers. Also, I am sure a corporate agency would buy them up anyway, so they could replace like for like if needed. Just Mortgages, MAB or Connells would be mad not to buy up the book and the staff!

  3. TOZ4

    News Flash!  Countrywide ‘aint a supermarket.

    If this company was your pet, you’d put it down.

    The lesson learned? An estate agency needs to be run by experienced estate agents.

  4. awpj54

    Free groceries with every house!!

  5. Mrlondon52

    OMG. This guy must be pretty talented given his career but isn’t stupidity repeating yourself and hoping for the same results?

    I am stunned that anyone would want to go from Tesco to CWD – this guy must be deluded. Does he really see serious wealth creation for him in this?

    Dear Mr Marsh, pls bear in mind that AGENCY IS NOT RETAIL. I said AGENCY IS NOT RETAIL.

    You can’t buy the stock. You can’t impose the same format conditions on 60+ different companies. You can’t import ‘big company’ middle managers from other industries and expect them to perform. You can’t beat up suppliers as with CWD you have no leverage apart form with your floorplan provider.

    I guess the Board want succession.

  6. Gangsta Agent

    once bitten, twice shy

  7. GPL

    Let’s think Positive…..

    ”Succession Planning”?

    …….it has the word “Success” in it!

    That’s all they need.



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