MJ Gleeson shares plunge as boss quits amid pay row

Shares have plunged at MJ Gleeson after the housebuilder’s chief executive stepped down amid a boardroom row over his pay.

The FTSE 250 firm saw shares dive 10% in early trading on Monday after Jolyon Harrison confirmed his immediate departure.

Gleeson said it was unable to agree acceptable terms with Mr Harrison, after an ongoing debate over “remuneration and succession planning”.

Mr Harrison was paid almost £3 million last year, and received a total of £2.8 million in 2017.

He was appointed as chief executive in July 2012, and has been paid around £12 million during his time in the role, according to the most recent annual report.

He has left with immediate effect and has been replaced by James Thompson, who has become interim chief executive.

Mr Thompson is the former chief executive of private equity-owned Keepmoat Homes, where he remains a non-executive director.

Gleeson is initiating a search process which will involve internal and external candidates, as it looks to appoint a long-term replacement.

The company said it has a “very strong management team” despite its chief’s exit, and believes it is well-placed to deliver profit and revenue growth over the rest of the year.

It is due to provide shareholders with a trading update early next month, before announcing its full-year figures in September.

It held firm on previous guidance that it expects to deliver figures in line with its full-year expectations.

It is the latest departure of a chief in the housebuilding sector caused by a pay row, coming less than a year after the resignation of Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn.

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