Places for People appoints new CEO 

Greg Reed, former chief executive of HomeServe UK, will lead the Preston-based housing association from 1 December, taking over from long-time leader David Cowans. 

Cowans, who joined Places for People in 1997, has been responsible for overseeing the expansion of the group. It was announced he would step down earlier this year.

Places for People is one of the UK’s largest housing associations, with assets exceeding £4.9bn and a portfolio of more than 219,000 owned or managed homes and 100 leisure facilities.  

‘‘We have made a huge a difference to society over the years, and I am proud of all that we have achieved together as we have developed and evolved our organisation,” Cowans said.

Reed takes over as chief executive a little more than a year after leaving home repairs multinational HomeServe UK. 

He spent eight years at HomeServe in a variety of roles, including chief executive from June 2017 until his departure in October 2020. 

Before joining HomeServe in 2010, Reed spent 13 years at Bank of America. 

The last two years of that stint were spent as chief marketing officer for Europe. 

Reed has previous experience working for a housing association. From 2017 he was a non-executive director at Clarion Housing Association and chair of Clarion Futures, the company’s charitable foundation. 

He has stepped down from both positions to join Places for People. 

“I’ve been making profit for companies my whole career, now I’ve found an organisation where profit creates huge social value, and I’m really happy to be here,” Reed said. 

“Everyone I’ve met at Places for People is passionate about the impact they and the organisation have on customers’ lives, and the exceptional outcomes they deliver. Leading the team, enabling them to support customers, and create places and communities, is the number one priority for me. Building on David’s powerful legacy, we have such an opportunity.” 

Places for People’s current growth strategy is to deliver 2,603 affordable homes by 2024 through its partnership with government agency Homes England. 

Places for People group chair Richard Gregory described Reed as “one of the strongest customer-focussed leaders I have met, a true customer evangelist”. 

“With his experience and skills as a successful chief executive, his understanding of our sector, and his strengths in culture, transformation, data, and finance, he is the perfect choice to lead Places for People in our next phase of development.” 

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