Adam Applegarth, chief executive of Northern Rock, steps down as non-executive director to concentrate on his job at the troubled mortgage lender

Northern Rock chief executive Adam Applegarth has resigned from the board of Persimmon.

Applegarth had been non-executive director of the housebuilder since 2005, and was the chair of its remuneration committee.

Persimmon said the reason for his departure was so that he could concentrate on his role at Northern Rock, the Newcastle-based mortgage lender which came close to collapse last month.

Northern Rock

John White, chairman of Persimmon, said: “In his time on the board, Adam has made a significant contribution to the company, for which we are very grateful. Nevertheless, we understand his desire to focus fully on the issues at Northern Rock, and we wish him well for the future.”

Northern Rock chairman Matt Ridley stood down two weeks ago, but Applegarth’s attempt to resign shortly after the crisis was refused by the board.

Northern Rock has reportedly borrowed almost £21bn from the Bank of England since the crisis began.