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Purplebricks Chief Executive Officer Makes Exit

Purplebricks is an online estate agent which operates in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2012 by Michael Bruce and Kenny Bruce, it is backed by investors that include venture capital firm DN Capital as well as Neil Woodford, Paul Pindar, and Errol Damelin.

Purplebricks founder and chief executive Michael Bruce has left the online estate agent as the firm announced it will exit Australia and place its United States operations under review.

Mr Bruce will step down from Purplebricks with immediate effect, just months after shares in the firm tumbled when it cut annual revenue guidance and announced the departure of the bosses of its United Kingdom and United States units.

Replacing him will be Vic Darvey, previously the company’s chief operating officer.

Chairman Paul Pindar thanked Mr Bruce for his contribution to the creation and development of Purplebricks, but added that the firm had got things drastically wrong over the past year.

It will now commence an “orderly run down” with immediate effect, pending closure.

In the United States, Purplebricks has put its operations under review.

In February, Purplebricks warned over headwinds in the Australian housing market when it admitted that it does not expect to meet revenue forecasts for the year.

In the United States, the company cautioned that there has been a “slower-than-expected response” to its marketing initiative and it also does not expect United States revenue to meet expectations.

To compound matters, last month analysts downgraded the online estate agent and said it would have to raise fresh cash.

Berenberg warned in a research note that the group should either give up on its international expansion plans or raise more funding as it slashed its rating from buy to sell.

It cited a slowdown in Purplebricks’ core United Kingdom market, as well as tough conditions in Australia and the United States.

Purplebricks confirmed that it expects revenue to be within the £130 million to £140 million range it guided for in February and cash balances will be no lower than £62 million.

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