Former PWC accountant to leave housebuilder in the summer for “personal reasons”

Barratt has announced the surprise departure of Jessica White, its chief financial officer.

The UK’s biggest housebuilder said yesterday that the former PwC accountant, who has been with Barratt and its predecessor firm Wilson Bowden since 2005, has made clear her intention to leave the business “for personal reasons”.

jessica-white Barratt

Housing Today understands that White (pictured), who was promoted to the board-level CFO role in June 2017, is not leaving to take on another job elsewhere.

She will leave the board on June 30 and the business as a whole on July 31. Barratt said it was launching a search for her replacement immediately.

White said that the decision to leave had not been easy, “but it is the right thing for me at this time”.

Barratt chairman John Allan, said White had “played an instrumental role” in driving Barratt towards its targets and wished her success in the future.

White joined Barratt in 2007 as head of financial accounting following the takeover of Wilson Bowden, and was promoted to group financial controller in 2010.

Shares in Barratt fell back yesterday as the market digested the news, albeit the fall did not wipe out gains made on Wednesday in the wake of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget which included an extension to the current stamp duty holiday and a new mortgage guarantee scheme.

White’s departure follows interim results last month which showed the firm had recovered revenue and profit to above the level seen prior to the pandemic. The firm reported a pre-tax profit of £430m on revenue of £2.5bn for the half-year to December 31, with revenue up 10% on the 2019 half-year.