Speculation is growing that a high profile former leader of the Association of Residential Letting Agents may become the next chief executive of Rightmove.
David Cox left Propertymark in what appears to have been controversial circumstances in July 2020 and some months later re-emerged as legal and compliance director at Rightmove.
It was thought at the time - never publicly confirmed by Cox - that he quit Propertymark after being denied the opportunity to stand as chief executive of the organisation when it combined both its ARLA and National Association of Estate Agents arms.
Prior to joining ARLA in 2014, Cox was a senior policy officer at what was then the National Landlords Association.
A senior industry figure associated with Rightmove, who wanted to remain anonymous, has told Letting Agent Today: “Cox has made a very positive impression within Rightmove and is well known to agents because of his webinars on behalf of the portal.”
The figure went on to suggest that if the housing market slows and Rightmove membership comes under pressure from agents, Cox could be a respected figure to maintain the company’s current position as undisputed number one portal.
The Rightmove CEO position is available following yesterday’s announcement that incumbent Peter Brooks-Johnson is to step down in February 2023.
Brooks-Johnson, a former business management consultant, has worked at Rightmove for over 16 years, progressing from being head of estate agency to becoming managing director and then CEO five years ago.
A Rightmove statement to shareholders says the company “will now commence a comprehensive process to identify his successor.”
Brookes Johnson himself says: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey at Rightmove, working with a hugely talented team who have taught me an immeasurable amount.
“Rightmove is an amazing company, with a clear focus and a relentless energy to innovate, which it has been a privilege to serve.
“With Rightmove progressing well on its mission to make home moving easier and our strong trading from 2021 continuing into 2022, I have decided it is an appropriate time to seek a new challenge.”
The current Rightmove chair, Andrew Fisher, says: “Peter has made a significant contribution to the success of Rightmove over the past 16 years and whilst we are disappointed that he will be leaving the business, we understand his decision.
“Under Peter’s leadership Rightmove has helped make home moving easier and with a robust strategy and very strong team, the Company is well placed to pursue the opportunities ahead. We will all miss Peter greatly and wish him continued success in his future career.
“I look forward to working with Peter to ensure a smooth transition and given Rightmove’s strong market position we are confident we will attract a high-calibre successor.”