Ex-Persimmon director Alan Hopwood was brought in to the £505m-turnover housebuilder at the end of March last year

Alan Hopwood

Alan Hopwood was appointed group managing director at Avant Homes at the end of March last year

Former Persimmon director Alan Hopwood has left his job at Avant Homes less than nine months after starting at the end of March last year. 

The £505m-turnover house builder said Hopwood had retired but left the firm “with a strong platform to achieve our growth plans”. 

Hopwood had been one of a number of former Persimmon directors to have joined Avant following a reverse takeover by small Yorkshire housebuilder Berkeley DeVeer, spearheaded by controversial ex-Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn.

An Avant Homes spokesperson said: “Our group managing director Alan Hopwood retired from the business at the end of last year. 

“He has left Avant Homes with a strong platform to achieve our growth plans. We would like thank Alan for his contribution, and we wish him a long and happy retirement.”

Hopwood had been at £3.6bn-turnover Persimmon for 15 years before making the move to the Yorkshire company, following three of his colleagues.  

Former construction director of Bellway and Persimmon Homes Don Anderson had been appointed as Avant’s new managing director for the north east the month before.  Former Persimmon strategy director Richard Stenhouse, who became the firm’s new chief financial officer, replacing long-service CFO Giles Sharp, was was also appointed in March. 

The appointments follow the controversial former boss of Persimmon Jeff Fairburn taking over at Avant Homes in 2021. He spearheaded an audacious takeover of Avant by Berkeley DeVeer, which in 2021 had a turnover of £28m, in a deal backed by private equity firm Elliott Advisers.

The Berkeley DeVeer takeover was followed shortly after by the departure of Avant’s former chief executive Colin Lewis, citing concerns over the direction of the company under Fairburn’s leadership. In January last year Avant’s then chief executive Mark Mitchell left, less than a year after the Jeff Fairburn-led buyout. 

On Hopwood’s appointment, a spokesperson from Avant Homes said he brought “extensive experience from over 30 years working in the housebuilding sector” and added further strength to its team.

Avant Homes declined to say if Hopwood was being replaced and if so by whom.