The chair of Foxtons said he would step down this morning after half a dozen years at the head of he board during which the share price has plummeted.
Gary Watts will have stepped down by the time the real estate agent holds its annual general meeting in May next year.
He paid homage to an “excellent company with a great team” and chairing it has been a “pleasure”.
However his time in charge has not been without challenges.
Watts, who also sits on the boards of Coca-Cola in Europe and chairs Spite Healthcare, has overseen a near-decimation of the company’s share price.
Today’s 51.10p price is 81 per cent lower than when it listed in 2013, and down 87 per cent on its peak in 2014.
Shares gained 2.5 per cent this morning after the news Watts would leave.
In the last year Foxtons has repeatedly cited poor conditions on the London property market as it struggled to keep revenues above water and widened its losses.
In late 2018 the company closed six of its branches in the capital, including its flagship Park Lane office.
In his statement today, Watts recognised the problems again.
“A series of challenges to the health of the London property market have impaired its recent trading performance but its balanced business model, strong net cash position and robust operating structure means that it is well placed to benefit from a recovery in sales volumes,” he said.
Ian Barlow, a director who will take over Watts’ role, has served on the board since 2013. The former KPMG man also sits on the boards of Urban and Civil, the Brunner Investment Trust and Goodwood Estate.