New face at helm of Gocompare as owner mulls demerger

 
Hayley Kirton
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Unfortunately, loyal Gocompare employee Gio seems to have been passed over for the role

The former boss of lastminute.com has today taken the driving seat at Gocompare, as the price comparison website's owner considers a demerger.

Matthew Crummack, who was chief executive of lastminute.com from 2011 until 2015, has been appointed the chief executive of Gocompare.

"I am delighted to announce [Crummack]'s appointment as the new Gocompare.com chief executive and look forward to him building on the significant progress made since esure's acquisition of Gocompare.com," said Peter Wood, chairman of esure Group, Gocompare's parent company. "[His] experience at lastminute.com and Expedia, together with his expertise across digital technology platforms makes him ideally placed to lead Gocompare.com forward into the next phase of its growth story."

Crummack replaces Jon Morrell, who has been chief executive since founder Hayley Parsons decided she would be leaving the business at the end of 2014.

Read more: Storms wipe a £4m chunk from esure's profits

Crummack added: "I look forward to building on the positive momentum that both Jon Morrell and esure have achieved in this time and, together with the fantastic team of people at Gocompare.com, to developing new ideas for growth."

However, in the same notice announcing Crummack's appointment, Esure also revealed it would be carrying out a strategic review of the business, which could potentially include a demerger.

In December 2014, Esure announced it would be purchasing the remaining 50 per cent of shares in Gocompare for £95m. Since then, the comparison brand has been performing well, including being on target for a 20 - 30 per cent boost to profitability in 2016, which has prompted the review.

Read more: Esure sees profits rise in first year as listed company

"Since acquiring full control of Gocompare.com in April 2015, we have made good progress on both Esure and Gocompare.com strategic objectives," said Stuart Vann, chief executive of Esure Group. "As reported in our 2016 quarter one interim management statement, we are delighted to see continued growth in Esure and Gocompare.com, and remain committed to delivering attractive returns to shareholders."

Wood added: "Now is the right time to review strategic opportunities for the Gocompare.com business, including a potential demerger, in order to continue to maximise value for our shareholders."

At time of writing, shares in Esure were up 2.1 per cent at 289p.

7 June 2016 @ 9:15amesure Group (ESUR)

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