The chief executive of FTSE 100 housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is stepping down after more than 14 years, just days after it was reported that activist investor Elliott Advisors has bought a stake in the company.
Pete Redfern led the merger of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey in 2006 and was appointed chief executive of the newly formed Taylor Wimpey the following year.
The longest-serving boss of any listed housebuilder, he has navigated the company through crisis and scandal.
Redfern led the company’s recovery from the financial crisis to become one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, but its shares nonetheless have traded at less than half their pre-crisis level.
The Mail on Sunday reported over the weekend that Elliott had taken a stake in the company, prompting speculation that it could become a takeover target.
Taylor Wimpey came close to collapse during the 2008 crisis, losing 98 per cent of its stock market value over 18 months. The group eventually survived after refinancing its debts.
The company was later embroiled in the ground rent scandal. It emerged in 2017 that, between 2007 and 2010, Taylor Wimpey was one of a number of builders that sold leasehold properties with ground rents that doubled every 10 to15 years.
The builder set aside £130m to resolve the issue, which had been investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority.
“Pete has made an invaluable contribution to the business during his almost 15 years as CEO, including having successfully led the company through a global financial crisis and the recent pandemic,” said Irene Dorner, Taylor Wimpey’s chair.
The company said in a statement: “The Board has a robust succession plan in place and the recruitment process is advanced, with a selection process considering both internal and external candidates.”