Richard Latham, group HR director, Persimmon
Richard Latham has been group HR director at Persimmon since August 2001
He has operational and strategic HR responsibility for 4,700 direct employees across the UK in 30 regional operating businesses and two manufacturing facilities.
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, within which he has developed strategies to handle the extremes of exceptional growth and significant downturn in what is traditionally a very cyclical industry.
A keen advocate of skills development, Latham has established Persimmon as a major provider of apprenticeships and training opportunities, which are essential in an industry that is facing a significant skills shortage. He regularly represents the interests of home builders on CITB and government committees and is a member of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network as well as being an active contributor to the Home Builders Skills Partnership.
Highlights of his career with Persimmon include the integration of new employees following major acquisitions and the establishment of the company’s 'Combat to Construction' initiative that has seen more than 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, diversity and inclusion.
The Persimmon Group has been one of the top-performing businesses in the FTSE 100 in recent years and in 2017 built in excess of 16,000 new homes, neither of which would be possible without a skilled and motivated workforce. Latham is looking forward to the challenges ahead, particularly supporting Persimmon’s strategic goals that have seen it diversify into the manufacture of its own bricks and the commissioning of a roof tile factory.
He has been named in various HR Most Influential lists since 2014.