Barratt Developments has announced David Thomas, the group's finance director, will replace Mark Clare as chief executive from 1 July 2015.
Mark Clare will step down after nine years with Barratt to focus on his non-executive career, the housebuilder said. The board decided to appoint David Thomas after a review that included external advisers.
Barratt has now begun the search for a new finance director. John Allan, Barratt's chairman, said:
We are very sorry to see Mark go and he will leave a tremendous legacy. He has transformed the operations of the company, led a very successful land investment strategy and realigned the business around its customers. He has also played an important role in the wider industry in terms of shaping housing policy and addressing the longer term challenges the sector faces. On behalf of the board I would like to thank him for everything he has achieved.
In February, Barratt reported solid half-year results with pre-tax profit at the company climbing 74 per cent, while total completions rose 12.5 per cent. Basic earnings per share were also up 78.9 per cent.
Barratt enjoyed a booming 2014 with stronger profits, and shareholders were treated to a fourfold increase in dividends. The housebuilder expects the good times to keep on coming, albeit at a slower rate. Its share price has soared over the past few years, boosted by record low-interest rates and government schemes, such as Help to Buy, to boost the housing market.
Commenting today, Clare said:
After nine years leading the group, now is the right time to hand over the reins. I am immensely proud of what the Barratt team has achieved, particularly the commercial transformation of the company and its reputation for quality, service and design.
It is not something that could have been accomplished without the support of all of our employees throughout the business. I am delighted that David has agreed to succeed me and I'm confident that the company will go from strength to strength under his leadership