Warning as Persimmon hires Bank of England boss

Joanna Place

Scandal-hit York house building giant Persimmon plc announced on Monday the appointment of the UK central bank’s chief operating officer Joanna Place to its board as an independent non-executive director.

Place will also join Persimmon’s remuneration and nomination committees and will also chair the corporate responsibility committee.  

Persimmon was recently urged to change its corporate culture by an independent review following serious complaints about its executive pay, customer service and the safety of its homes.

Former Persimmon CEO Jeff Fairburn stepped down amid a row over his $100 million package.

The appointment of Place raised some eyebrows.

Professor David Blanchflower, a former executive at the Bank of England, said: “This doesn’t look good.

“It sounds like a potential conflict.”

Blanchflower said the central bank should be “very mindful” of any potential conflict at a time when the Financial Conduct Authority is investigating a security breach that allowed hedge funds to listen in to Bank of England press conferences moments before they were officially broadcast.

Persimmon said: “Since July 2017 Jo has been the Chief Operating Officer of the Bank of England with responsibility for the day to day management of the Bank including finance, technology, information and physical security, human resources, property, and procurement.

“Jo has over 30 years of experience at the Bank of England, including leading teams in banking, statistics and regulation.

“Before her appointment as COO she was the Bank’s HR Director for three years.”

Persimmon chairman Roger Devlin said: “Jo is an outstanding talent and Persimmon will benefit from the great breadth of her management experience, in human resources in particular, in the course of her 30-year executive career at the Bank of England. 

“Her knowledge and insights will be invaluable to the business as we continue to implement our programme of progressive change.

“I am pleased to welcome Jo to the board.”