Countrywide plc, owner of estate agency brands including Hamptons International, Faron Sutaria and John D Wood & Co, has consolidated its head office personnel into one swanky Oxford Street HQ, as Sky News reports that the firm’s Chairman Grenville Turnor is to step down at some point.
The move to UK House at 180 Oxford Street has seen more than 170 people from the group’s various brand head offices across the capital bought together for the first time. These teams will join Countrywide’s executive team and Lambert Smith Hampton who are already based at UK House – bringing nearly 500 Countrywide Group personnel together in one location.
Reports of a change at the top of the business, meanwhile, say that “The board at Countrywide plc are currently undertaking a succession planning exercise as they fully adhere to standard corporate governance practices.” It seems that some investors think it’s bad form for a former CEO to become a company’s Chairman, as Turnor did.
A search for a new boss – run by headhunters Ridgeway Partners – is said to be “at an early stage”, with “no urgency to replace Mr Turner.”
Graham Bell, Managing Director for London at Countrywide plc: “We have never had all of the head office functions for our London based businesses together in one place so we are excited by this move. The timing is right for our strategy of ‘One Countrywide’ and these offices which are located in such a central location in London will enable us to develop and grow together.”
Paul Creffield, Managing Director for B2B at Countrywide plc: “The new head office on the seventh floor at UK house is a very modern and stylish space with a dynamic environment, allowing for greater collaboration between our people and our business units. We look forward to welcoming our colleagues from across the Countrywide Group and our corporate partners to our new head office.”
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