Wednesday 24 June 2020 8:21 am

National Express chief quits to lead housebuilder Persimmon

Housebuilder Persimmon has this morning announced that Dean Finch will succeed David Jenkinson as the group’s chief executive at the end of this year.

Finch joins the FTSE 100 company from transport firm National Express, where he has spent a decade as chief executive.

Prior to that, he held a number of senior roles at fellow transport operator First Group, including finance chief and chief operating officer.

In February this year Jenkinson announced that he would end his tenure as chief executive when a suitable successor was found.

Finch said:  “Persimmon is a strong business operating in a sector that has a critical role to play for both the people and the economy of the UK as we emerge from the profound disruption of Covid-19. 

“I look forward to leading the business in its drive to become Britain’s best housebuilder and delivering for all stakeholders in the business whilst continuing to deliver strong financial returns to investors.”

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In April the firm said that despite the coronavirus crisis its forward sales position was“robust” at £2.4bn, down from £2.7 per cent this time last year, with an average private selling price of £244,500 compared to £237,850 last year. 

The company said steady customer enquiries provided “some encouragement on the resilience of demand” during the lockdown period.

Persimmon chairman Roger Devlin said: “Dean is a seasoned, well-respected and proven Chief Executive with an exceptional record. 

“In his current role he has delivered substantial strategic and operational progress over a sustained period, delivering value for all stakeholders in the business while developing a distinct and cohesive culture, focused on customer care and service. 

“The board believes that Dean is a great fit for Persimmon and is well qualified to lead the business into the next phase as we continue to drive a programme of change to become the leading volume builder of good value, quality family homes throughout the UK”.

As group chief executive Finch will be paid a base salary of £725,000, with a pension allowance of nine per cent.