Richard Sommer, CEO for ZipRealty, a real estate brokerage company that offers discounts and rebates to consumers, has resigned “for personal reasons” after less than a year in the position, the company announced Monday, and the resignation is “effective immediately.”
J. Patrick Lashinsky, the company’s president, will fill in as CEO while continuing in his current role. Sommer will retain his seat on the company’s board of directors, according to the announcement.
It’s the latest in a series of upper management changes in the past year.
Sommer, who formerly served as CEO for real estate marketing company HomeGain, joined ZipRealty on Sept. 6, 2006, replacing Eric A. Danziger. HomeGain and ZipRealty both launched in 1999 and are based in Emeryville, Calif.
“We are sorry to see Richard leave, but are pleased to have him remain actively involved with the company by staying on the board of directors. We wish him all the best in his personal endeavors,” said Don Wood, ZipRealty’s chairman, in a statement. “That said, we believe that Pat can transition smoothly into the role of CEO and be a terrific leader of the company.” Lashinsky joined ZipRealty in 2000.
The company has struggled in the slowing housing market, and reported a net loss of $3.1 million in the first quarter and a net loss of $20.2 million in fourth-quarter 2006 while continuing to expand into new markets. ZipRealty’s stock price per share closed the day at $7.47 on Monday, up 5 cents from the previous closing price.
“At this time the company remains comfortable with the full-year 2007 earnings guidance provided on its May 9 … earnings call,” according to the announcement.
Lashinsky said in a statement, “I am excited to be assuming the CEO position at ZipRealty after seven years with the company and feel we are well-positioned for the future. Specifically, we plan on maintaining our strategy of growing aggressively but intelligently, giving superior client service, and making our agents among the most effective and productive in the industry.” ZipRealty operates in 27 metropolitan areas in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
Lashinsky has previously served as the executive vice president of product development and strategy and senior vice president of marketing and business development for ZipRealty, and he previously worked at General Mills and Del Monte in a variety of marketing roles.
Gary Beasley, the company’s former president and chief financial officer, left the company late in 2006. Beasley had served as the company’s CFO since late 2001 and took on a joint role as president and CFO following the departure of former president and CEO Danziger in August 2006.