Former Confused boss changed her mind after insurer’s takeover by LV and delisting.
Debra Williams, the former managing director of Confused.com, has decided not to join Highway after its takeover by mutual Liverpool Victoria thwarted her ambition to work for a publicly listed company.
Williams left Confused in June and was expected to join Highway last month.
But the insurer was delisted after its £150m takeover by mutual Liverpool Victoria during the summer.
An spokesman for Liverpool Victoria said: “Debra Williams joined the Highway Group to broaden her experience of working in a stock exchange-listed plc and she decided not to remain following its acquisition by LV.”
The Welsh entrepreneur spent four years at Confused, where she helped to build the aggregator from a 20-person outfit to a business with more than 90 employees. Last year, the company posted profit of £32m.
Her success at Confused made her a respected figure in the industry, but the aggregators were also seen as a threat by brokers concerned about the growing power of the websites.
At Highway she was expected to oversee the strategic direction and growth of the insurer’s internet distribution and report directly to Andrew Gibson, the then chief executive.
Williams said after learning of her appointment: “Highway has the potential to grow significantly over the next few years. To think that I will be so heavily involved in shaping a company and influencing its future success is an exciting prospect.”
Gibson had praised her “wealth of knowledge and experience”, adding that she would be an “invaluable addition to the Highway senior team.”
Gibson is also leaving his post at Highway following its acquisition by Liverpool Victoria, although he will stay on in an advisory capacity until the end of the year.
He has been succeeded as chief executive by John O’Roarke.
Williams could not be contacted for comment. It is thought she has been travelling during her period of gardening leave.