Shares drop as Purplebricks founder steps down

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Purplebricks saw its shares drop more than 8% this morning after founder and CEO Michael Bruce resigned with immediate effect.

Previous chief operating officer Vic Darvey will replace Michael Bruce as CEO. Vic Darvey joined Purplebricks in January 2019 having previously worked as Managing Director of Moneysupermarket.com Group plc.

The online estate agency also announced its withdrawal from the Australian market and a planned review of its business in the US.

A statement to Purplebricks investors expressed confidence in the company’s operations in Canada and the UK.

Paul Pindar, Non Executive Chairman, apologised for the “disappointing” company performance over the last year, and said: “With hindsight, our rate of geographic expansion was too rapid and as a result, the quality of execution has suffered. We have also made sub-optimal decisions in allocating capital. We will learn from these errors and will not make them again.”

Vic Darvey, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Going forward, we have a very clear understanding of the levers available to us to achieve growth. We have two outstanding businesses in the UK and Canada, both of which enjoy market-leading positions.

“We have also made significant progress in the US building a disruptive brand in the Real Estate market and our proposed strategic review will allow us to determine how we deliver the next phase of growth in a more effective and cost-efficient way.”

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