The tale of Icarus, the young man who flew fast and too close to the sun — melting his beautifully made wings and falling into the sea — is often used as a cautionary tale for people and companies who seem in danger of “flying too high.”
Porch.com, a site that connects homeowners with home improvement professionals, collected $100 million in funding during the years since its inception in 2013 — but after laying off 200 employees and the departure of three key executives this year, the company announced this week that its chief product officer, Eric Doerr, is leaving after one year on the job. Is it the real estate tech industry’s latest Icarian situation?
Porch hasn’t released a full statement about Doerr’s departure, but Porch spokesperson Jessica Piha said, “He was a great team member and will be missed. We are very much appreciative of his contributions and wish him the best.”
This departure comes on the heels of a rocky year that included more than 200 layoffs, a downsized HQ, and the departures of three other key executives — Jay Allen, who served as the chief technology officer, Joanna Lord, who was the vice president of marketing, and Kiran Akkineni, who served as the vice president of analytics.
Porch had an astronomical start with $100 million in funding since its inception in 2013. From there, the Seattle-based company quickly grew to 500 employees and cemented partnerships with big-box companies such as Lowe’s Home Improvement and realtor.com.
According to a series of reports by Geekwire, Porch may have expanded too fast, causing them to enact a number of measures, outside of layoffs and downsizing, to save money.
Employees noticed that certain perks, such as free Friday lunches and travel opportunities, were reduced or eliminated. Moreover, employees reported that higher-ups became less transparent about the company’s financial status.
Neither Porch nor Doerr has given specific details about his departure, who will replace him or where he is going next.
Prior to his time at Porch, Doerr was with Microsoft for more than 20 years and most recently served as the general manager for identity. He also managed products, including Xbox Studios, Windows Live and MSN.