Allan Dalton, the former president of home-search site Realtor.com, has "voluntarily resigned" his position with a secretive venture at Move Inc. and will serve as a senior adviser to the company, according to company documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Move Inc. officials offered no comment about Dalton’s resignation.
Dalton joined Move predecessor Homestore in 2002 as Realtor.com president. Move operates Realtor.com through a contract with the National Association of Realtors trade group. In February 2007, the company announced that Dalton was "asked to lead a dedicated team developing a new business venture" for Move. Errol Samuelson, president of Move subsidiary Top Producer, was promoted as president of Realtor.com at that time.
The company has offered few details about the new business venture in the year since it was first announced. David Lereah, the former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, joined Dalton in May to assist with the project, which Move officials described as a "transformational" new entity.
From 1997-2002, Dalton had served as a senior executive for residential real estate units of Cendant Corp., the predecessor to Realogy Corp. Realogy franchise and company-owned brands include the Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA and Sotheby’s International Realty brands, among others. He also earlier served as president and co-owner for an independent real estate brokerage company with about 20 offices, and he was a former draft pick for the Boston Celtics professional basketball team.
Dalton was part of a leadership team that arrived at Move’s predecessor Homestore when the company was in shambles. Mismanagement and accounting problems had led the company to restate its earnings, and the company’s stock was nearly de-listed, sinking to just pennies per share. About a dozen former Homestore officials have been convicted of crimes related to fraudulent advertising deals and financial reporting.
Jack Dennison, another member of the Homestore leadership team who was hired in 2002 to help turn the company around, resigned from Move in September 2007.
Mike Long, Move CEO, and Lewis R. Belote III, chief financial officer, were also a part of the management team that joined Homestore in 2002.
Another company official, real estate blog pioneer Dustin Luther, left Move in December after serving in a new position as director of consumer innovations for about a year.
A Move shareholder group this month called for the board to dismiss Long and Belote, citing worries about a $130 million securities investment that the company recently announced was illiquid because of problems in the securities market. That followed the company’s latest earnings report, in which Move announced a $5.3 million fourth-quarter loss and also detailed its investment in auction-rate securities issued by student loan financing organizations.
Dalton will receive a severance payment of $675,000, according to Move SEC filings, as well as a base monthly salary of $3,000 and minimum compensation of $12,000 per month. The agreement signed by Move and Dalton covers a 12-month period "but can be extended upon mutual agreement of the parties."
Forbes.com reports that Dalton had annual cash compensation of $1.74 million in 2006, and had 1.65 million stock options valued at $5.86 million.
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