(Reuters) - British homebuilder Berkeley Group said its chairman and co-founder, Tony Pidgley, died suddenly on Friday, and deputy chairman Glyn Barker will take up the role on an interim basis.
"He died of a stroke, he was working yesterday and went to (the) hospital last night and then sadly passed away earlier today," a company spokesman told Reuters in an e-mail statement.
Pidgley, 72, helped set up the FTSE 100 company in 1976 and became Berkeley's chairman over a decade ago.
Deputy Chairman Barker joined the company as a non-executive director in 2012 after having worked with one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers for more than 30 years. He was appointed Pidgley's deputy in April 2018.
Shares of Berkeley, which operates mainly in London, Birmingham and the South of England, closed down 3.8% at 4,105 pence on Friday.
Berkeley last week stuck by its commitment to return 280 million pounds ($345.07 million) to shareholders annually, even as it reported a 35% fall in annual profit in a bruised market.
($1 = 0.8114 pounds)
(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)