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.