Gleeson CEO leaves amid dispute over pay package

Shares of Sheffield-based affordable housebuilder MJ Gleeson plc fell 11% on Monday after it said CEO Jolyon Harrison has left the firm after a disagreement “regarding his remuneration and succession planning …”

James Thomson will join Gleeson as CEO on an interim basis with immediate effect.

Thomson is a former CEO of Keepmoat Homes Ltd, a private equity owned housebuilder.

In a stock exchange statement, MJ Gleeson said: “The board of MJ Gleeson plc announces that Jolyon Harrison who joined the board in July 2010 and was appointed chief executive officer on 1 July 2012, has stepped down from the board and left the company with immediate effect.

“Following extensive discussions with Mr Harrison regarding his remuneration and succession planning, the board concluded that it was not possible to find a mutually acceptable basis for Mr Harrison to continue as chief executive officer.

“The board announces that James Thomson will join the board as chief executive officer on an interim basis with immediate effect.

“Mr Thomson is formerly chief executive of Keepmoat Homes Ltd, a private equity owned housebuilder selling over 4,000 homes a year, and where Mr Thomson remains a non-executive director and shareholder.

“The board is initiating a search process, which will include both internal and external candidates, to identify a long-term CEO appointment.

“Gleeson has a very strong management team comprising Stefan Allanson (Chief Financial Officer), Sarah Marsden (Gleeson Homes COO), Bryan Simpson (Gleeson Homes MD) and James Pitt (Gleeson Strategic Land Deputy MD).

“The board believes that the company is very well placed to continue to achieve strong growth in turnover and profits.

“The company is scheduled to issue its next trading update in early July and results for the year ended 30 June 2019 on 16 September 2019.

“Meanwhile, the board re-affirms its previous guidance that it anticipates the group will deliver a result for the year in line with expectations.”