U.K.-based PurpleBricks’ chief financial officer (CFO) Steve Long is to leave the company on after just a year in the role. Long, who replaced Andy Botha in October 2021, will remain in situ until the end of November to help the transition of new CFO Dominique Highfield (LinkedIn profile), who will start on November 1.

Highfield joins from PurpleBricks from Pentland Group, a privately-owned U.K.-based company that owns and invests in retail and wholesale businesses in the sports, outdoor and sports fashion sectors.

She joins a struggling company with a long list of problems, following recent poor results and redundancies. In its most recent quarterly financial results, the company reported a 23% decline in revenue, to £70 million ($80.9 million U.S.), with gross profits falling 27% to £42 million and an EBITDA loss of £8.8 million.

PurpleBricks chairman Paul Pindar, who recently survived an attempt to oust him at the company’s AGM by activist investor Adam Smith of Lecram Holdings, said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that he believed the partnership between Highfield and new CEO Helena Marston “is exactly what PurpleBricks needs to create a better, sustainable performance.”

However, Property Industry Eye reports that Lecram Holdings, which owns 5% of PurpleBricks, issued a statement on the CFO changes.

“We are extremely surprised to see the CFO depart in under a year, without a clear explanation why. Under Paul Pindar’s stewardship, PurpleBricks has gone through four CEOs and five CFOs, which is a factor in why it has underperformed so badly.”

“How long are shareholders prepared to wait for the chairman to accept responsibility and step down so we can end this circus and stabilise the company?”



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