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McCarthy & Stone lets go of its building chief

15 Jul 20 McCarthy & Stone has let go of chief operating officer Nigel Turner after just 18 months in the job.

Nigel Turner
Nigel Turner

Nigel Turner joined the retirement housing specialist in January 2019 after more than 20 years with Kier, latterly as an executive director.

He was one of two chief operating officers brought in by the McCarthy & Stone board at the time. Mike Lloyd, former chief commercial officer of The AA, was made COO in charge of sales and marketing; Nigel Turner was COO for building operations, with a specific brief to cut costs.

Today McCarthy & Stone announced that Mr Turner is leaving the company “with immediate effect”, blaming coronavirus.

It explained: “In light of the impact of Covid-19, the company has reviewed its resources in line with anticipated workflow and demand and is adopting a more streamlined approach. Several of the initiatives that Nigel was brought in to deliver have also now been successfully completed. The company has therefore decided to revert to a more traditional structure of one chief operating officer, Mike Lloyd, who will continue to focus on the core areas of sales, customers and services.”

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The four divisional managing directors, who are responsible for all build operations, now report directly to John Tonkiss.

Chief executive John Tonkiss said: "I would like to thank Nigel for his hard work and enthusiasm since joining us and he has helped us make significant progress with delivering our new strategy. This includes leading our build cost reduction activity, which is central to our margin improvement plans, and driving material change in our effective management of health and safety. We wish him the very best for the future."

The change around comes after a six-month period in which the company's losses were almost as big as its turnover. McCarthy & Stone sold just 471 properties in the first half of 2020, down 44% from the 845 in 2019 H1. Revenue for the half-year was down 64% to £101m (2019: £280m). The business made a pre-tax loss of £91.3m in the six months to 30th June 2010 (2019 H1: £3.6m profit).

McCarthy & Stone is now going through a strategy shift to become less focused on building retirement developments and more focused on operating them, as a service company.

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