Housebuilder’s chairman John Watson to become executive chairman during Ayres’ leave

Housebuilder Bellway has announced that chief executive Ted Ayres is to take a leave of absence from the firm due to ill health.

The company’s chairman John Watson is to take on the role of executive chairman during Ayres’ absence.

Watson was formerly chief executive of Bellway until February 2013 when he became chairman.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Bellway said Ayres is to undergo treatment for a medical condition, and its board and management team wished him “a swift and full recovery and look forward to his return”.

Meanwhile the firm has also promoted its southern regional chairman Jason Honeyman to the position of chief operating officer and a member of the board on non-executive director’s pay.

Honeyman joined Bellway in 2005 as managing director of the firm’s Thames Gateway division.

John Watson said: “Jason is a highly respected senior operator in the industry and has considerable housebuilding experience having overseen the successful management of our Southern Divisions since 2011.

“His appointment to this new group role strengthens the operating structure and will support the delivery of the company’s disciplined growth strategy.”