NAR outgoing CEO Bob Goldberg and Interim CEO Nykia Wright
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Bob Goldberg out at NAR, Chicago media exec in 

Nykia Wright, previously CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times, will be interim CEO. Goldberg had previously announced plans to depart in 2024.

Updated November 2, 2023
4 minutes

Key points:

  • Wright said she is honored to lead NAR at “this important moment.”
  • Goldberg will consult with NAR while the association seeks his permanent replacement.
  • The shift in leadership comes after months of turmoil and calls for change at NAR.

Just days after testifying at the landmark Sitzer/Burnett trial, Bob Goldberg is departing as CEO of the National Association of Realtors, the organization announced.

Chicago media executive and startup co-founder Nykia Wright is stepping in as interim CEO, the Chicago-based association revealed Thursday morning. Wright said via a LinkedIn post that she is "honored to join the organization at this important moment."

Goldberg had previously announced plans to retire at the end of 2024. NAR said on Thursday that Goldberg will step down officially on Nov. 20 and support NAR as an "executive consultant" as the association seeks a permanent CEO.

The news of Goldberg's abrupt departure comes just two days after a jury ruled against NAR and in favor of home sellers in the landmark Sitzer/Burnett commissions trial.

It has been a tumultuous year for NAR, with former president Kenny Parcell stepping down in August following allegations of sexual harassment. However, the association stood by Goldberg even as calls for his resignation grew louder, with the NAR Accountability Project leading the charge for systemic change at the association.

In today's announcement, Goldberg said he "determined last month that now is the right time for this extraordinary organization to look to the future."

Earlier this year, Goldberg touted NAR's positive evolution, telling Real Estate News in February that "so many current and former NAR members, staff, and volunteer leaders have worked tirelessly to transform this association from one that barred Black members and fought passage of the Fair Housing Act to one of the real estate industry's most vocal drivers for universal access and equality."

He also said that ensuring real estate professionals "feel heard and valued" is critical to presiding over the nation's largest trade organization.

NAR's interim CEO brings experience with 'organizational transformation'

Wright, who began her career in the financial services industry, joined the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2017 as Chief Operating Officer. Nykia was promoted to CEO of the newspaper in November 2018 and held the role until this past February.

During her five-year run in executive roles at the Sun-Times, Wright led the local media organization through an extensive overhaul which resulted in the sale of the Chicago Reader alt-weekly and the Sun-Times' merger with Chicago Public Media.

Wright also holds board positions at the American Cancer Society and Chicago's Better Government Association. Previously, she was highlighted on Crain's Chicago Business' 40 under 40 list for 2018 and profiled in Crain's Chicago "Who's Who in Chicago Business" list of top business leaders for 2023. Wright attended Carnegie Mellon University and holds an MBA from Dartmouth College. 

More recently, Wright co-founded sales-as-a-service tech startup SonicMessenger LLC.

NAR highlighted Wright's experience as an executive in media and in the startup world as assets that she can bring to the organization. 

"Her deep experience driving organizational transformation positions her well to advance our strategy, vision and culture initiatives. I look forward to working with her, in partnership with our Leadership Team and staff, to continue strengthening our organization," NAR President and broker Tracy Kasper, said in the announcement.

Jason Haber, leader of the NAR Accountability Project, wished Wright well in her new role: "Over the past few weeks, we've seen the worst of NAR. It is our hope she can bring out the best of it.

Wright called this a pivotal time for the industry and expressed her desire to help the association drive positive change. "NAR advocates for and empowers people who help families across America realize the dream of homeownership," Wright said via LinkedIn. 

"The opportunity to make a difference in the evolving real estate landscape has never been greater."

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