Zoopla confirms restructure as number of key seniors depart in wake of takeover

A number of key executives have left, or are leaving, Zoopla following the £2.2bn takeover by American equity firm Silver Lake announced in May.

The departure of ZPG founder and CEO Alex Chesterman – who remains on the board – has been documented. He stepped down at the end of September.

However, less well known are the departures of other seniors. They include:

  • Paul Whitehead – ZPG Chief Strategy Officer (gone)
  • Matt Cohen – ZPG Chief Product Officer (gone)
  • Mike Blakemore – ZPG Chief Technology Officer (going)
  • Mark Witherspoon – ZPG Data Services Director (gone)
  • Richard Allalouf – ZPG Head of User Experience and Design (gone)
  • Lawrence Hall – ZPG Director of Communications (going)
  • Ed Mardell – PSG Chief Technology Officer (gone)
  • Robbie Roberts – PSG Infrastructure Director (gone)
  • Steve Moss – PSG Group Head of QA (gone).

Last night, Zoopla managing director Charlie Bryant – formerly CEO of Hometrack, one of ZPG’s acquisitions –  told EYE: “ZPG is going through a very exciting period of change as we restructure the group and invest heavily in growth.

“The changes reflect our renewed focus on product investment and innovation, for the benefit of agents and consumers.”

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20 Comments

  1. JonnyBanana43

    Game over. Goodbye.

    Stick to comparing light bulbs.

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  2. Robert May

    “ZPG is going through a very exciting period of change as we restructure”

    You see those two mountain peaks? Those two quite close together ones!

    I’m  going roll 90 degrees to port, hold in a boot-full of top rudder as I fly knife-edge between them,  you might want to put your lap-straps on; passenger planes aren’t really designed for this sort of stunt!

     

    ZPG has a primary obligation to quite a lot of agency firms as a CRM supplier,  it’s ambitions as as portal or big data farmer should be secondary to making sure their customers software, training and support requirements are properly catered for.

     

    Good luck to everyone onboard, that is not the sort of excitement anyone should  take on without full informed consideration of the consequences!

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    1. P-Daddy

      Zoopla are selling your (agents) data in many more ways than will be apparent. Ask a lot of the software suppliers and their real time feed is based on Zoopla data not Rightmove. They are also keen to pair up with Facebook etc. Danger, venture capitalists at work! Don’t sell yourselves cheap agents…they need you more than ever now and its going to get expensive…by stealth!

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  3. J1

    Very excited to be firing people ehhh???

    Nice

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  4. El Burro

    And there’s OTM making real inroads after having their hands tied behind their back with the Connells/Zoopla action. The door is ajar OTM, kick it in.

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  5. informer

    The Americans are here! They have taken over and are leading the business now. The remaining exes have no power anymore and bend like straws, its embarrassing to watch and a real shame at how much damage they are doing to the business and staff morale.

    Believe me, there are more people gone/going than just those on this list!

    I’m not sure about the rest of the group but certainly here in the London office morale is at rock bottom and lots more people are planning to leave, they’re just waiting for their year end bonus. Talking of bonuses, a whole new scheme has just been rushed out which is now almost impossible to achieve and which HR could barely explain the complexity of… bye bye bonus.

    What we really don’t understand is why SilverLake would buy a super successful business and then remove/push/disrupt the very people who made it a success?
     

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    1. Mark Walker

      Disruptors.

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  6. PeeBee

    Lawrence Hall – Director of Communications… hasn’t ‘communicated’ much of anything for the last two years – since his last beasting here on EYE, coincidentally…

    Cue ‘Digital Expert’…

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    1. Robert May

      ……. or his knight in shining armour who had to bail DE out on more than one occasion; digitalfix

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  7. Dave Coburn

    I must be missing something – why the negative sentiment over Zoopla?

    I get good leads from Zoopla and I am excited to see how they develop their product now there is huge investment. I am also on OTM (until I know more about their fees when the free period ends) and I am starting to see some enquiries come through from them too. My dream is to be able to ditch RM, but this will only happen when the public see either ZPG or OTM (pref both) as better portals. That in turn will only happen when ZPG or/both OTM have as many EAs signed up as RM do. Surely we could all support ZPG and OTM? As long as there is a split camp neither will be big enough to challenge RM. If only one of ZPG or OTM are big enough to replace RM then their fees would inevitably go up (albeit probably not as aggresively as RM), so we need both of them to succeed.

    Remember, it was OTM that started the problems between them and ZPG with the ‘one other portal’ rule. That is why I didn’t go with OTM in the beginning, and I still feel let down by them, as they wasted a great chance to unite EAs to finish RM off. But I still want OTM to succeed, just as much as ZPG…

     

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    1. Robert May

       Do you have one of the ZPG software systems? If you do you’d understand.
       
      You possibly don’t remember the  £250k sponsorship of the Connells courst case against OTM
       
      ZPG have lost agents’ hearts and minds.  They’ll be glad they have one fan!
       

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      1. Dave Coburn

        Robert, Yes I do use one of their operating systems. Could you please explain what it is that you expect me to understand?
         
        I have three offices and I make more out of using the ZPG conveyance referral system that is embedded in the software than I pay ZPG for the system and my membership of the portal. How can that not be a good thing? All I get from RM is heartburn, and I don’t yet know what I am going to get from OTM next year.
         
        No party would go to court unless they felt aggrieved. Perhaps OTM could have considered working with ZPG instead of targetting them in the OOP issue. Whatever, we are where we are and if we all supported them both now, then maybe we could kill RM.
         
        I talk with lots of EAs who like being on ZPG and I don’t agree with your sweeping statement over ‘hearts and minds’. I have read your posts for a few years now and I generally like what you say. I just don’t get what your thought process is over your dislike of ZPG.

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        1. MD85

          He used to work for them (CFP Software and then later Jupix). Got pushed out. That’s why 🙂

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          1. Robert May

            If you are  aware of the facts  surrounding my  resignation please report them accurately, that way the implied resentment will be balanced by understanding. I am fairly certain there will be people who prefer that to be a story that remains un-told

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        2. Robert May

          It’s hurtful and its personal but its enough I point out I’m the last man standing. Despite the attempts to discredit me I’m still here doing what I’ve been doing for 24 years; looking after agents and their best interests.

          Very possibly you won’t be aware of  how your business has been harmed by ZPG and the revenue opportunities  for your firm lost to big data projects in general.  An open discussion about that isn’t necessary.

          ZPG hasn’t dented Rightmove,  GMGPS and PSG never became “the Whitbread of the property world”, they never got to “own your desktops”  Those who tried- failed.  They failed themselves, their customers and their staff.  I’m sad for the staff and customers both whose futures must be uncertain but for those who have failed as business people within our industry let’s hope their personal gain is enough to buy them some respect well away from here. For them I have nothing but disdain.

          I have a lot of respect for Charlie and Richard hopefully they will be given opportunity to restore what has been very badly broken.

           

          In respect of  ZPG  OTM there was an obvious alliance there that never happened, that’s a shame

           

           

           

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    2. ARC

      Careful Dave they’ll be accusing you of being a ZPG rep with talk like that.

      You’re not allowed to like anything on these forums or you will taste the wrath of the coven of regulars.

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      1. Dave Coburn

        LOL, surely I am not in the same boat as Duck and Dom though?!

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        1. ARC

          No that’s true but be careful or that’s where you’ll end up!!

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    3. Oh dear

      I actually like your point Dave, I’m on OTM but I am now going to get back in touch with Zoopla and will consider rejoining them. It would only take all estate agents to do the same both ways round to get the stock level with Rightmove on both. It’s sad but the only way I can see being able to leave Rightmove is by getting another portal bigger than them for the public. I think you might be right though that we need to stop choosing either Zoopla or OTM and should use both. Even if it’s just for a year to see if it works?

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  8. Rollo

    Good luck to zoopla , we have always got good leads from them , let’s see what the Americans can bring to the table ( Make Zoopla Great Again).

    The big change will be when one of these portals starts allowing sellers to list direct with them in a purple brick format. Online, hybrid, high street agents beware!

    LINK REMOVED – PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE TERMS & CONDITIONS #6. Users posting comments on the site may not post direct hyperlinks to other websites and especially may not do so by use of their username. Users may not use comments to promote a service or business.

     

     

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