EYE NEWSFLASH! Countrywide in the hunt for a new CEO

Britain’s biggest estate agency group has embarked on a hunt for a new boss, paving the way for the eventual departure of its high-profile chairman.

Sky News is this evening reporting that it has learnt that Countrywide, which owns the Hamptons International and Bairstow Eves brands, is working with headhunters on a search for a chief executive.


Countrywide’s value has shrunk drastically since 2007, when it was acquired by the US private equity firm Apollo Management in a deal worth £1bn.

On Tuesday, its shares closed at 118.75p, giving it a market value of just £38m.

In 2018 Long left Royal Mail  just weeks after a bruising encounter with shareholders in which just over 34% of them voted against his reappointment at the company’s annual meeting.

EYE NEWSFLASH: Peter Long steps down from Royal Mail to concentrate on Countrywide



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  1. MrEstateAgent

    Bet he will get a big fat golden handshake for basically doing naff all since he attempted to rescue the almost sunken ship.

  2. Fawkes

    I wonder if Andrew Benn’s phone has rung yet ….

  3. GPL

    In reality the “Long Goodbye” is a more deadwood finally being jettisoned …….however there will no doubt be a lucrative “Golden Goodbye“ …..followed by another lucrative “Welcome Aboard” somewhere for Old Peter.
    It’s amazing that the same old faces turn up in a senior position elsewhere …..to milk the coffers …..cause calamity ……and then slip away like a large t@rd ejected gracefully into the swirling ocean of corporate greed that willingly rescues them with a lifebelt stuffed full of money & share options?!
    Well done Peter …….another caper completed and a handsome reward banked. Crash on to your next calamity and see how much damage per pound earned you can accumulate ……before falling on your sword or being felled after overstaying your welcome once again.
    Countrywide is preparing for life in a display case next to the “Dodo”. Associated Brands should check their parachutes and start humming the opening bars of “The Great Escape”……
    Take note …..1662 …..acknowledged as the year of the last recorded sighting of the Dodo. Steady your binoculars for The “Peter” & The “Countrywide”. If you adjust your view to the left, the very small fire you see burning on the horizon is the last of the Countrywide shares which I hadn’t sold, as I thought they would be more valuable in providing me warmth whilst Dodo hunting ……and so it proved.      

  4. Harry Hill

    I don’t know Mr Long.

    What I do know is that he has been obscenely well paid to oversee the almost total destruction of a once great business and together with the other members of the board, should hang his head in shame.

    Good luck to his successor as I fear that the downward spiral is incapable of being arrested.

  5. Mrlondon52

    Mr Long has blood on his hands. He was arrogant to think his travel background qualified him to take the job and then ignorant enough to need a year to sack Alison Platt.
    Some of the travails of CWD were not it’s fault (SDLT and tax changes) but most of it was Alison supported by the Board and Chairman.
    Also – who do they want as Chairman or is it CEO? Someone to keep trading or someone to split it up? 

    1. Bertie

      The rot had set in long before Allison got there. She unfortunately accelerated it while trying to make changes.

  6. Commenttrawler

    The guys like Alan Pardew, fail and onto the next job

  7. James Wilson

    Wow.  US$ 1 billion to $38 million.   That is value destruction on a grand scale.  You really wonder why private equity gets involved in estate agency, which is a pretty lousy business, let’s face it.   It always seems to blow up for them!

  8. Hillofwad71

    You would have thought that they would have already identified  successors but I guess that  is typical of the CWD BODS.
      Having spent hundreds of millions  buying in “talent” who have successfully run their own businesses surely someone suitable within.    
    They might as well make a complete sweep  of it  .They could have waited until the results were released .
      Long has tottered from one disaster to the next .Ponderous  in making decisions ,none more so than in removing  Platt . It was like a pantomime the whole world shouting It’s her .
      The inept handling of the sale of Lambert Smith Hampton another disaster Now the staff there are suffering from low morale as they are still being hawked around the market like a bag of spuds their futures insecure   He even sanctioned buying in shares when  the share price was  plummeting His arrival continued further acquistions increasing debt.
      Even now many  branch offices amongst the CWD brands still not fully open .
        What next? A rare opportunity for someone to make thisn  sing .Interesting to see how the market  reacts to the news. Should imagine the SP will rise.
      Fill your boots!

    1. whatdoiknow58

      Don’t forget the embarrassment of the ex-Tesco Finance Director Bruce Marsh their Knight in shining armour being ” appointed ” Chief Operating Officer in October 2019 with a seat on the board only in March 2020 to announce he wouldn’t be joining them after all! No doubt after either looking at the books in more detail or more likely looking at the quality of the people he would be sitting next to. Realised just in time what a basket case he would be joining with all the best talent long departed.

  9. iainwhite87

    Ok I will sort it

    1. PeeBee

      Is this an anagram?

      Or a joke?

      Either way – I don’t get it.

    2. Dick Value

      You had me going there for a second Ian! Funny guy. But how could you possibly manage to fit this role in with all of the activities necessitated by the many pies you have a finger in? 18 hour days are not healthy you know!


      Still loving how you call your home ‘The White House’. Have you still got your sports company?



      1. iainwhite87

        Sadly I can’t take credit for the name of my house , it was called that 100 years before I owned it . never owned a sports company ? I have scouted and coached at 2 professional clubs but don’t do that other than one off projects from time to time now. I only work a short week and short day’s these days , it’s all about having and building an awesome team of people around you. Recruit people more capable then you it’s  a no brainier strategy    

      2. iainwhite87

        Sadly I can’t take credit for the name of my house , it was called that 100 years before I owned it .

        never owned a sports company ?

        I have scouted and coached at 2 professional clubs but don’t do that other than one off projects from time to time now.
        I only work a short week and short day’s these days , it’s all about having and building an having awesome team iOS people around you.

        Recruit people more capable then you it’s  a no brainier strategy



  10. AlwaysAnAgent

    It will be interesting to see who comes next. If it’s another PLC CEO from a different industry, not the property sector, Harry’s forecast will become reality within two years or less.

  11. majortom1

    I am sure Peter wide of Agency is a very nice chap but clearly it’s time to find someone to save this once great company

    Agency is changing so maybe there is a chance for a slimmer fitter company to make money on the back on the next 9 months -but it’s time critical

    I agree with the above comment -it has to be someone who has seen the industry from the grass roots up –
    Good luck to the CWD branch staff -they must be quietly relieved



  12. Robert_May

    Head hunting and selecting a candidate from a set of people who ‘might do’, picked  by people who do not know the industry or what is required to get a difficult job done will not get the job  done.


    1 possibly, 2 people I can think of could  lead and motivate  CW from where it is now to where  it ought to be. This is not a role that will be filled by going through Linkedin profiles for people who have done a job with a similar job title somewhere else


    As the outspoken one who everyone disagrees with in the short term  but then appears to have  an  HD crystal ball in the long I keep calling it right on  a lot things.


    If the same process that  placed Alison Platt is followed they will end up with someone who comes at the challenges  Countrywide faces but without the domain knowledge or respect the  role  demands


    It was refreshing to read Mr Hoskings views about CW and perhaps that’s what behind this change of leadership.


    My 2p is that I would  review  and understand all the challenges the group faces, acknowledge what has gone before  and conclude  Bob Scarf has the authority, respect and domain knowledge to get a difficult job done. I  can think of 1 other person who I’d call but I would call Mr. Scarff first.

    That might not earn the recruitment process a big fee but when a pilot  suddenly can’t fly the plane you find someone who can- fast!


    If  Bob’s face  doesn’t fit (and I don’t know  the corporate politics) I’d  say  that is not a valid reason for not at least talking to him

  13. majortom1

    Share price up 7.8%-says it all really with the other agents down!

    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      Their share price has fallen by 57% since early March. A 7% daily increase in this vastly reduced price isn’t an indicator of anything.


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