James Thomson, currently chief executive of the low-cost homebuilder, will take over from Dermot Gleeson as chair 

James Thomson

James Thomson will become MJ Gleeson’s chair on 31 December

Gleeson’s chief executive James Thomson is to take over from Dermot Gleeson as chair of the board on 31 December this year. 

Dermot Gleeson, the great nephew of Michael Gleeson, the founder of the business, has been on the low-cost homebuilder’s board for 47 years and has been chair for 28 years. 

Thomson was invited to be chair after an “exhaustive” search process and will remain CEO of the company, which announced in January its sales were to exceed pre-pandemic levels, until 31 December. 

Graham Prothero, currently chief operating officer at Vistry Group, wil take over as chief executive at the £288m-turnover housebuilder Gleeson at the beginning of next year. 

Fiona Goldsmith, senior independent director, said Thomson had a “long and outstanding track record in the housebuilding sector and, of course, a deep knowledge of Gleeson”.  

“This will provide much stability, both in these volatile times,” she said. 

She also said the outgoing chair had made an “enormous contribution to the business”, which had “seen some of the most testing times experienced across the UK housebuilding sector”.  

“It was his vision that saw the business transformed into the UK’s leading listed low-cost housebuilder and a business that can genuinely say that it changes people’s lives,” Goldsmith added. 

Gleeson, a former chair of the Major Contractors Group and board member of the Housing Corporation, said he would be “leaving the business in good shape and in good hands”.  

“I am extremely proud of what has been achieved by the wider Gleeson team throughout my time as chair and I look forward to watching with interest and excitement the continued growth of the business as it continues to play a leading role in meeting the enormous demand from first-time buyers for an affordable home”

The firm is also looking for a non-executive director and the board expects to make an appointment before the end of the year.

It will issue its next trading update on the morning of its Annual General Meeting on 18 November 2022 and a trading update in respect of H1 FY2023 will be released on 13 January 2023.