People on the Move
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People on the Move: RE/MAX shakeup continues as COO steps down 

Serene Smith had been chief operating officer since 2017, a position RE/MAX will now sunset. The company has also hired an EVP for HR and administration.

June 4, 2024
2 minutes

Editor's note: As an industry with millions of agents and over 100,000 brokerage companies, new leaders rise to the top every day. Here we highlight executives and other notable leaders who've recently taken on, or stepped away from, roles that influence the residential real estate landscape. 

RE/MAX Chief Operating Officer Serene Smith has left the role after seven years, the latest in a series of shifts in top leadership positions at the company.

Serene Smith, former COO, RE/MAX.
Serene Smith, former COO, RE/MAX.

In February, Nick Bailey departed as CEO, and Amy Lessinger took over as president, with responsibility for overseeing the RE/MAX brand and network globally.

The situation is similar for Smith, who has been with the company in various positions since 2006. RE/MAX will no longer have a principal operating officer, the company said in an SEC filing. Her responsibilities will go to other executives.

RE/MAX also announced that it has hired longtime human resources leader Rob Fuchs as executive vice president for HR and administration, effective June 3.

Smith is not leaving RE/MAX yet, but instead moving to a part-time, non-executive role, also effective June 3. The filing details the terms of her separation, which includes no payments now, but could include a year of the salary she earned as COO ($391,230), plus health benefits and accelerated vesting of restricted stock units. She is also potentially entitled to a retention bonus if she stays with the company through Nov. 13.

This season of change at the brokerage kicked off in November, when RE/MAX Holdings named Erik Carlson as CEO, overseeing the RE/MAX brokerage business and Motto Mortgage. 

Carlson's tenure has been challenging, with the company reporting drops in revenue and agent count and making significant cuts in expenses — most notably legal expenses, as RE/MAX was one of the first companies to reach a settlement in the commissions lawsuits.

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