One analyst said it was not surprising that chief executive Peter Johnson had looked outside the industry, but others questioned whether the move would pay off.
One said: "Johnson obviously wanted his own man in. He's a hired gun. Bringing in a guy from the outside has its risks. One has to be sceptical about this. I'm not convinced and we'll have to wait and see."
Wimpey's share price increased 10p to 207p immediately after the news but analysts put that down to investors believing that the stock was cheap rather than a vote of confidence in Carr-Locke's appointment.
Johnson obviously wanted his own man in. He’s a hired gun. This has its risks
A Wimpey spokesperson dismissed speculation that Saville, who has been with the group for 13 years, had been a victim of Johnson's restructuring drive.
The spokesperson said: "He decided now was the time to move on. It was very much his decision to go."
Johnson added that Carr-Locke's experience of consumer industries would help Wimpey move forward.