Persimmon’s chief executive to quit after 15 months in top job

Dave Jenkinson, chief executive of Persimmon Homes

Housebuilder Persimmon is searching for its third chief executive in less than 18 months after the unexpected resignation of Dave Jenkinson.

Jenkinson, who is 51, was appointed interim CEO in November 2018 before being confirmed as permanent boss a year ago. He replaced Jeff Fairburn, who had eventually stepped down after criticism about his enormous bonus.

The group chief executive will step down after 23 years with the company “in due course”, remaining in the role while a successor is found.

The announcement of Jenkinson came alongside the York-based group revealing pre-tax profits had remained above £1bn, with revenues at £3.65bn in 2019.

Although profits were down 4.5% and revenues down 2.4%, this was expected as the company has been repositioning itself – building a “new Persimmon” that is more focused on quality and customer service.

In December it took the extraordinary step of publishing an independent review into the business, which was highly critical of its standards and build quality.

Despite – or perhaps because of its very public hand-wringing – Persimmon’s share price has also risen sharply over the last six months. It has increased by 80% since mid-August and reached an all-time high earlier this month, with the FTSE 100 company’s market value now at nearly £10bn.

David Jenkinson added: “I’m very pleased with the progress that we’ve made over the last year in reshaping Persimmon’s approach and culture while at the same time maintaining our operational momentum.

“Persimmon is an outstanding business with a strong balance sheet and a great team of talented and dedicated people who mean a great deal to me.”

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