Richard Latham, group HR director, Persimmon
Richard Latham has been group HR director of Persimmon since August 2001.
He has operational and strategic HR responsibility for 4,500 direct employees across 400 new home developments and 29 regional operating businesses throughout the UK.
During his time with Persimmon he has developed strategies to handle the extremes of exceptional growth and significant downturn in a traditionally cyclical industry. He has a wealth of generalist experience and a particular skill in the management of change, which has been called for on numerous occasions in a very fast-paced industry sector.
Highlights of his career with Persimmon include the establishment of the company’s 'Combat to Construction' initiative which has seen over 200 ex-forces personnel recruited to be trained and qualified as bricklayers and joiners. He is also proud of the fact that Persimmon was the first house builder to receive accreditation for its approach to equality, diversion and inclusion.
A keen advocate of the development of skills, Latham has established Persimmon as a major provider of apprenticeships and training opportunities. He is an active contributor to the Home Builders Skills Partnership, which is an industry-wide joint venture between the Home Builders’ Federation and the CITB to encourage recruitment and skills development across the sector, which as a whole is facing a significant skills shortage. Latham regularly represents the interests of home builders on CITB and government committees.
The Persimmon Group is firmly established in the FTSE 100 and builds in excess of 15,000 new homes every year. Latham is looking forward to the challenges ahead, particularly as the industry adapts to new methods of construction, which has already seen Persimmon diversify into the manufacture of timber frames and commission its own brick manufacturing plant.
He has been named in various HR’s Most Influential lists since 2014.