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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Tom Keighley

Gentoo chief executive Nigel Wilson steps down with immediate effect

The boss of Sunderland-based housing association Gentoo has stepped down from his role with immediate effect.

Nigel Wilson was appointed to the role in 2018 after a period of turmoil for the business, in which it drew criticism from regulators for severance packages and six-figure pay packets. In 2017 the association was downgraded by the Homes and Communities Agency to a "non-compliant" grading but under Mr Wilson's tenure it has converted the grading to a 'G1' - the gold standard for governance.

A short statement on Mr Wilson's departure, issued by group chair Emily Cox, said he had stepped down after four years in the post. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Gentoo's executive director of corporate services, Louise Bassett.

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As a housing provider to more than 60,000 people, and with a turnover of £168.7m, Gentoo is one of the largest housing associations in the North East. Before taking the Gentoo job, Mr Wilson had worked in the civil service and was chief executive of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group in Manchester.

In a statement, the chair Ms Cox said: "Gentoo’s executive director of corporate services Louise Bassett will replace Nigel as interim CEO with immediate effect. Louise is a highly-accomplished business leader, with over 20 years’ experience across senior private sector roles in consumer and healthcare organisations.

Emily Cox MBE, Gentoo Group chair. (Supplied by Gentoo)

"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. The board and I would like to thank you for working alongside Gentoo in our joint commitment to improving quality housing in Sunderland. As a key stakeholder and anchor institution in Sunderland we are looking forward to continuing our important partnership with you in 2023."

Last year Gentoo announced a three-year, £19m investment programme into more than 1,000 homes in Pennywell. The spending covers measures such as new roofs for homes and outbuildings, new front door canopies, double glazing, loft insulation, cladding or render on outbuildings, new front garden fences and decoration to the outside of properties.

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