Meet the Designate Executive Team


28 June 2022


The proposed merger between Optivo and Southern Housing Group has moved a step closer with the announcement of a designate Executive Team.

In March this year the boards of both organisations backed a proposal to look at combining forces. The proposed merger would create a new 77,000 home social landlord and the new organisation would be called Southern Housing.

This morning, the following designate Executive Team has been named:

  • Paul Hackett - designate Chief Executive

  • Alan Townshend - designate Deputy Chief Executive

  • Sarah Smith - designate Chief Financial Officer

  • Jane Porter - designate Chief Operating Officer

  • Richard White - designate Executive Director Development & Sales

  • Yvette Carter - designate Executive Director Contract Services

  • Jenny Poore - designate Executive Director People & Culture


So far, the following shadow Board members have also been appointed:

  • Sir Peter Dixon - Chair (current Chair of Optivo Board)

  • Janet Collier - Vice Chair (current Chair of Audit and Risk Committee at Southern Housing Group)

  • Carol Rosati - Chair of People Committee (current SHG Board member)


Subject to due diligence and successful negotiations, Optivo and Southern Housing Group hope to complete the merger by December 2022. You can read more about the plans here.