Opendoor co-founder steps down, president leaves
The company, which announced significant layoffs last month, replaced former CEO and co-founder Eric Wu with Carrie Wheeler, who joined as CFO in 2020.
- Wu will remain with the company as president of Marketplace.
- Company president Andrew Low Ah Kee has resigned his position.
One of the dominant iBuyer companies has made some significant changes to its executive staff after struggling with losses and layoffs this year.
Opendoor announced in a Dec. 1 news release that it is replacing its CEO, Eric Wu, who co-founded the company in 2014. Carrie Wheeler, the company's chief financial officer, will now helm the company as CEO. Wu will stay with the company as president of Marketplace and continue to serve on the board.
Opendoor also disclosed that the company's president, Andrew Low Ah Kee, resigned to pursue other opportunities, according to the news release. He joined Opendoor in 2020.
In addition to her appointment as CEO, Wheeler will join the company's board of directors.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Opendoor as we transform the way to buy and sell real estate," said Wheeler in a news release. "We've built a solid financial foundation with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position that sets us up to not just manage through this current housing cycle but emerge stronger with market leadership. Furthermore, we are excited to continue to innovate and empower Eric (Wu) to drive the development of our third-party marketplace."
Wheeler was Opendoor's CFO for two years and has 25 years of private equity and board experience with numerous consumer companies.
"These leadership changes enable Opendoor to focus on both financial and operational excellence while continuing to innovate and lead disruptive change for the real estate industry," said John Rice, Opendoor Board Lead Independent Director.
Christy Schwartz, who has served as chief accounting officer since March 2021, was named interim CFO.
The changes in leadership are taking place as the company struggles during this current real estate slowdown. In early November, Opendoor announced that it was laying off 550 employees, reducing its workforce by 18%. The company reported $211 million in third-quarter adjusted losses in its most recent earnings report.
Wu will "return to his founder roots as he focuses on building and redefining the real estate experience" as the president of Marketplace, according to the release.
"Over several years, I built conviction that our third-party marketplace is what homebuyers and sellers need, will fundamentally change how all homes are transacted and is a critical piece of Opendoor's future. Thus, I've made the decision to focus my time and energy on building and delivering on this vision," said Wu.
The iBuyer industry has been battered by shifting market conditions, causing some major players to exit the market. Zillow began shuttering its Zillow Offers program in November 2021 and sold its last home earlier this fall. More recently, Redfin announced in November that it would end its RedfinNow iBuying program.