Top-level departure at Countrywide as chief marketing officer leaves within a year

One of the biggest hitters at Countrywide is leaving after only a year in her role.

Helen Normoyle, chief marketing officer and a member of Countrywide’s executive team, is a former director at the BBC. She is quitting Countrywide to take up a position at Boots. She leaves at the end of this month.

It is not known when she resigned from Countrywide.

However, yesterday a source claimed that she had been appointed to Countrywide in mid-2015 but could not join until the following March, because she had had to work out her contract in her previous role.

Normoyle joined Countrywide in March last year, amid fanfare and with a hugely impressive CV. She was director of marketing and audiences at the BBC, while her other roles have included being director of market research at Ofcom, plus a variety of posts at Motorola.

Immediately prior to joining Countrywide, she was chief marketing officer at DFS.

The latest departure follows rumours of a number of departures in November, including that of the managing director of Hamptons who had been in his post for a matter of just months. Countrywide has re-organised its London operation, which now comes under the ‘retail’ business led by Sam Tyrer. London’s seven Faron Sutari branches have now disappeared to become part of John D Wood.

Last week, Countrywide’s financial services sales director Vince Corley is also understood to have left.

A spokesperson for Countrywide yesterday confirmed Normoyle’s departure: “We can confirm that Helen Normoyle will be leaving Countrywide at the end of February, to join Boots UK & Republic of Ireland as marketing director.

“During her time with us Helen has made a significant impact, creating a strong integrated marketing department which leaves us in good stead going forward. We wish Helen all the best and thank her for her valuable contribution to Countrywide.”

Alison Platt, CEO of Countrywide, also paid tribute to Normoyle in an email to Countrywide’s ‘Leadership Community’, asking recipients to cascade to their teams as appropriate: see below.


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  1. invisible25

    A lot of the management team have left and many more of the ineffectual team need to leave. It is a chaotic environment with a mass exit of very good staff at shop floor level, many with long service and excellent track records. The aim is to clear out its current staff and get fresh blood in, mould them to the countrywide way and pay them salaries of £12,000 for 55 hour weeks.

    1. g4lvo17

      What a joke, Alison Platt brings in a load of highly paid people to fill irrelevant jobs created to make it look like she is making big organisational changes, who add nothing but extra expense to the payroll and zero to the bottom line. I was there when she started and the drivell that cascaded down to the front line was unbelievable, might work in Carphone Warehouse ( but I doubt it ), just caused resentment amongst experienced staff told to do things like wear a badge with Branch Champion on it? and other silly primary school ideas that some committee thought would be good to boost moral !!!!!!! Glad I left .

      1. invisible25

        You got out at the right time. Based on the average sales commission due to staff being between £150 and £180 staff now need to sell over 50 houses a year to be better off than minimum wage which countrywide are legally required to pay you for the 50+ hours standard hours. We represent people buying and selling houses yet we stand no chance of ever buying or passing the 30x salary matrix to rent a property we list.



  2. Philosopher2467

    Significant? When one of Mrs P’s senior and lauded ladies jumps I suspect that all is not well and cohesive at the HQ. Is it that despite the propaganda peddled to date that the realisation that CWD is going the way of woolies/HMV/bhs? Is the loaning of millions of shares and attached voting rights a precursor to an interesting time prior to or at the AGM? More questions than answers at the moment! Barely a day goes by without another lurch toward oblivion.

  3. Hillofwad71

    Save me please. “Cascade down to the teams as appropriate ” She certainly trots out the whole range of corpoblarney . More like  a tsunami   CWD is going from bad to worse if possible .12months  time and they will be avery different  beast  The banks must be seriously concerned that their  money is riding on Platt,s shoulders

    1. El Burro

      You missed the ‘ . . . will report to Pete Curran with a dotted line to Paul Creffield’ Hillofwad.

      Dotted line? DOTTED LINE? Sounds like a tear off perforated slip to me.

      And that perforated slip will at the bottom of the job offer letter that Countrywide are now using: ‘I hereby resign from my position at Countrywide’. Just saves everyone time.

  4. AgencyInsider

    Cascade: Corporate speak meaning to p*ss on staff from a very great height.

  5. Philosopher2467

    I wonder if it has just dawned on Ms Normoyle that CWD isn’t the ‘retail’ environment she was led to understand it could be hence rapid departure stage right to a true retailer? If not then we might see BPS very soon (boots property services). Although I don’t thinks so.

  6. David Cantell

    Rats, sinking ship……

  7. Hillofwad71

    She must have swallowed the whole lexicon  of corpospeak ” Leadership Community” What  are they Mormons ?

  8. Frown Please

    Last one out… lights and front door please.

  9. MattBesier41

    I wouldn’t read too much into it. People in these positions can often come and go quickly due to better offers all the time.

    1. Philosopher2467

      A reasonable comment if the matter was one in isolation. However; in this instance it has the appearance of someone going under their own volition as opposed to having a compromise agreement to sign and taking a ‘career break’ pending an alternative and appropriate opportunity. I doubt Ms N or Mrs P will enlighten us though.

  10. smile please

    So good experienced director’s with estate agency experience have been shown the door replaced by “Retail Gods”

    Number of these “Retail Gods” are now walking away ……

    Sounds like all is well 😉

  11. Thomas Flowers

    The bloodbath of change at CW continues?

    Or is that the letting of blood to release pressure on this agency body so as to facilitate the growth of fresh new blood for further leadership letting in the future when the head of that body is under further pressure from the leadership paymaster generals of that body?




  12. Typhoon

    And when the music stops who next will not have a seat at the boardroom table?

  13. froo-gal04

    This company is doomed ! The slice-girls days are numbered , the staff morale is at an all time low , there is a layer of spineless regional management who are not prepared to tell the scissor-sisters that estate agency is not about USP’s and NPS scores .

    Selling a property is , at the very least , a 4 month journey to hell and back and can not be likened to a quick  10 minute visit to the car-phone warehouse or DFS !

    1. Hillofwad71

      “Slice Girls ”  Yep thats a great title

    2. g4lvo17

      I remember the regional manager bleating on about NPS scores more than instruction levels or sales in our manager meetings, just goes to show where the focus was…….in the wrong area….Just saying .

  14. RealAgent

    The really sad thing here for me is that there are literally hundreds of jobs in the balance as a result of what appears from the outside, to have been an experiment in customer motivation and behaviour.

    Plenty have tried over the years to reinvent it but in the end “estate agency” has its fundamentals firmly rooted in the fact that one customer wants one office to deal with them as an individual, catering for their individual needs in terms of advice and assistance and of course the end goal which is the selling ability to allow them to utilise their assets.

    Where I believe Countrywide have gone wrong is they’ve assumed the product is property and this would be true if CW were PC World because when the customer walks in they may well want a computer and can be sold a printer or a warranty.

    But in estate agency when a customer walks in the product they want is a relationship which ironically, when that is achieved they will still buy your printer and your warranty!


  15. Property Peep

    There office on Deansgate in Manchester is closed for a second day with a note in the window saying closed due to unforeseen circumstances ……. wonder what they are ?

    1. froo-gal04

      No Staff……no one wants to work for this lot any more !


  16. Hillofwad71

    Simon Part of the Leadership Community!  Im an Urban Spaceman .Certainly gone all Bonzo at CWD Wonder what the    neggies at CWD think  of all that

  17. Philosopher2467

    Anyone familiar with this song?

    Danny Kaye from Hans Christian Anderson I recall (showing my age now).

    Look at the King! Look at the the King! Look at the King, the King, the King! The King is in the altogether, but altogether, the altogether He’s altogether as naked as the day that he was born The King is in the altogether, but altogether, the altogether It’s altogether the very least the King has ever worn” Summon the court physician! Call an intermission! His majesty is wide open to ridicule and scorn. The King is in the altogether, but all together, the altogether He’s altogether as naked as the day that he was born And it’s altogether too chilly a morn!

    Seem familiar?

  18. Ttop

    Retail is retail – high quality estate agency is a different ball game –

    just ask Woolworths, Debenhams , property seekers and a bunch of building societies who all had a go –

    how many towns now have a bright branded corporate in the top 2 or 3 I wonder . All change from 10 years go –

  19. Philosopher2467

    Post announcement of Ms Normoyles impending departure, rumours abound and flow from UK House in the west end.

    Disagreement and emabarrasmemt over a marketing plan due to be launched then cancelled after the marketing material was produced and distributed to the branches. One of a number of disagreements over strategy. Do I perceive further abdication of responsibility from Mrs P? Ever increasing levels of responsibility being passed to Ms T. A double edged sword perhaps? Mrs P can use the excuse she made a mistake appointing the wrong person to oversee the evolution she envisaged. A perfectly reasonable excuse in many circumstances. It’s a mistake that all managers make or will make at some point if their careers are long enough. It is a small error in judgement when set against the landscape of dismantling and driving to ruin a successful and longstanding organisation that employed over 10,000 souls. I’m not sure what Ms T’s excuse will be as the blame for the debacle could be readily be laid at her feet. A career limiting exercise in the futility of trying to change an industry into something it isn’t and likely will not ever be?

  20. NickTurner

    For those of us still involved in agency now  and were in the early and mid 80’s the present large firms would do well to look at history. I was with Nationwide Anglia and exactly the same thing happened  to them as is now happening sadly to CW.

    Estate Agency is not retail and that is the great mistake CW have made; Nationwide Anglia along with a host of others also made that mistake and left empty offices and empty promises.


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