We are delighted to announce the appointment of Digby Flower as interim CEO as part of our ambitious growth plans over the next decade.

Having become employee owned in October 2021, we now have over 500 staff working out of 23 offices across the UK and Europe, currently boast a turnover of almost £50 million and are targeting significant growth over the next decade.

Digby has joined as interim CEO to work alongside our existing board to establish a strategy and structure that will best position the business for our next stage of expansion. He will also oversee the process of succession planning as Hollis’ founding directors step back from the day to day running of the business.

Hollis Chairman and Founder, John Woodman, says: “In the space of 30 years, the business has gone from three people with a minimal turnover, to 500 people nudging a £50 million turnover. Along the way we have evolved as we have expanded and we have always punched above our weight. To achieve the ambitious plans we have for future growth, we need to change the way the business is managed and structured, but without losing the culture we have worked hard to embed. This started by switching to an employee ownership model two years ago and this next step will be a continuation of our succession planning.

“We have a group of directors who are the best in the industry at what they do as surveyors, environmental consultants, project managers and engineers. The business has become a market leader and a trusted provider on the back of this and they will ensure that we maintain this reputation going forward. To support them in growing Hollis further though, we need additional leadership whose expertise is in the management of growing businesses.

“Digby is not only someone who knows the property industry inside out, he also knows what makes Hollis tick. He has watched our journey closely as an industry peer, friend and often confident, so has the perfect balance of understanding our business, whilst still having the objectivity of an outsider. He also has almost unrivalled experience in remodelling and growing market leading real estate consultancies. Instrumental in instigating a change programme at Cushman & Wakefield UK and Ireland as CEO and then chairman, the business thrived under his leadership.”

As interim CEO, Digby’s key duty will be to establish and embed a new corporate structure within the employee owned model, as well as lead the search for a long-term CEO from outside the business. Part of this new structure will see Woodman and managing director Alex Brown, stepping down from the management board, but continuing within the business in an advisory capacity.

Digby Flower says: “I have always admired the way Hollis has managed to grow organically whilst staunchly retaining its independence and its ability to compete with its much bigger competitors simply by being the best at what they do and by constantly innovating. This is a business that has always been driven by its people and I look forward to working closely with those people to put in place the structure needed to grow their company even further, for them.

“The board has a very clear vision and ambition; my job is simply to use my experience to ensure that they fulfil this.”