This announcement comes after the British motor and home insurer claimed it had faced “significant headwinds” in recent months.
Penny James joined Direct Line as finance chief in late 2017, later taking over as chief executive in May 2019. Although James successfully steered the company through the COVID-19 Pandemic, Direct Line has since hit a ‘rough patch,’ resulting in an unexpected dividend cut, a sharp fall in its shares, and the threat of a possible credit rating downgrade.
Direct Line has now announced that Jon Greenwood, chief commercial officer, will be acting chief executive until the role can be filled. Chair Danuta Gray said Greenwood will focus on driving performance and restoring the balance sheet.
Commenting on her time as Direct Line chief executive, Penny James has said:
"It has been a privilege to lead Direct Line Group for nearly four years and to work with such an amazing group of colleagues. While the business was impacted by significant headwinds at the end of 2022, the group has continued to make strategic progress.
"I am proud of what the business has delivered for customers, where our technology transformation has seen improved digital capability in our core business areas, setting the group up for the future."
A company spokesperson could not give a time frame for a decision on a successor but said the search would include internal and external candidates.