Gentoo boss Nigel Wilson steps down with immediate effect after four years

Gentoo CEO Nigel Wilson is stepping down, the housing firm has announced.

The property giant confirmed today, Wednesday, January 4, that Mr Wilson had left his post.

He took over almost four years ago at a business which had been mired in problems.

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Gentoo Group had been downgraded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in 2017 after a report said it ‘does not meet our governance requirements’ amid concerns over executive pay-off deals.

Gentoo CEO Nigel Wilson has stepped down

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) confirmed in 2019 Gentoo that was operating ‘in a compliant manner within the regulatory standards for social housing providers’ and upgraded the group from a non-compliant G3 governance rating to G2.

Gentoo Group has since returned to the top G1 grading.

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New boss

A statement today said: “Following on from the G1 Regulatory upgrade in November 2021 and after almost four years with the organisation, Nigel Wilson has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Gentoo Group.

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Emily Cox MBE

"Gentoo’s Executive Director of Corporate Services Louise Bassett will replace Nigel as Interim CEO with immediate effect.”

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Gentoo Group Chair Emily Cox MBE said: "Louise is a highly-accomplished business leader, with over 20 years’ experience across senior private sector roles in consumer and healthcare organisations.

"She joined Gentoo Group seven years ago to assist with the organisation’s transformation project and is passionate about maximising the potential of all colleagues across the organisation.”

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Nigel Wilson had worked through a variety of roles in local authorities and housing associations, including a role as chief exec at Parkway Green housing association, which he brought together with a neighbouring company to create Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, responsible for 14,000 homes, about half as many as Gentoo.

‘Everything I heard was massively positive’

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Speaking to the Echo shortly after arriving at Gentoo, he said, “I had done my due diligence.

“I knew of Gentoo, I obviously knew some of the challenges it had faced in its recent past.

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“I did a lot of checking and taking the temperature with people.

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“Everything I heard was massively positive - great business, held in high regard by colleagues in the business, gone through some challenges, was putting its house in order, was a key stakeholder and anchor institution in Sunderland, and a lot going on now in terms of the new leadership in the city.”