David Jenkinson, currently group managing director, will be appointed as interim group chief executive and will assume his new role on 31 December 2018.
Fairburn is due to leave the company on that date. The board has already started a formal process to select a permanent successor.
The housebuilder has agreed with Fairburn to reduce his 12-month notice period and therefore there will be no further payments of salary or provision of benefits, including pension, after 31 December 2018.
He has no bonus entitlement for 2018 and no awards under any of the company’s share plans other than his deferred bonus share scheme awards and unvested SAYE options, which will lapse on departure.
Roger Devlin, Persimmon’s chairman, said that under Fairburn’s leadership Persimmon has sold more than 74,000 homes across the UK while more than doubling in size, increasing its market capitalisation from £3.4 bn to £7.5 bn.
He added: “David is an experienced operator in the housebuilding sector and has made a significant contribution to Persimmon in a number of senior roles, particularly in land purchasing. I am grateful that he has agreed to take on the role of interim CEO.”
The housebuilder reported a growth in private sales by 3% compared to the year before in its interim results on 21 August up to 6 November.
Persimmon is currently delivering new homes in about 370 communities nationwide, having about £987m of forward sales reserved beyond 2018, an increase of 9% on the same point last year.
The housebuilder said that it continues to focus on providing new homes at affordable price points across the UK, with over 2,000 new homes being delivered to our housing association partners in the financial year to date.