The National Association of Realtors has let go of Mark Lesswing as its chief technology officer, NAR CEO Bob Goldberg wrote in a letter to members on Tuesday.
“With the creation of our Strategic Business Innovation and Technology (SBIT) team, it became increasingly clear to me that NAR’s need for a Chief Technology Officer and the advanced skill level that Mark Lesswing provided was no longer required, so we have eliminated that position as of today,” Goldberg wrote.
“Making reductions in the workforce is never easy, and I trust that you will join me in acknowledging the great contributions Mark made to NAR over the past 17 years and in wishing him great success in the next chapter of his career.”
Lesswing declined to comment. When reached for comment, NAR spokeswoman Sara Wiskerchen said:
“NAR CEO Bob Goldberg’s mission for the association is to become more efficient, member-centric and innovative. Throughout the year he has continued to make changes to the internal organizational structure to reduce redundancies and make it more nimble and collaborative and take it where it needs to be in 2019 and beyond in order to best support our members and advance the real estate business and industry. Today’s organizational announcement aimed to continue that process, since NAR’s newly created Strategic Business Innovation and Technology group is also working in the area of technology and propelling high-tech change and working with disrupters to bring them inside the NAR tent, instead of working to displace the industry.
“Mark Lesswing helped drive innovation through the Center for Realtor Technology and offered extensive data and technology insights during his tenure at NAR, so our association and members could better embrace technology and the future. We thank Mark for all of his years of service to the organization and our members, and we wish him all the best.”
Lesswing joined NAR in 2001 as vice president of NAR’s Center for Realtor Technology (CRT) and became the 1.3 million-member trade group’s chief technology officer in 2006.
In addition to his work with NAR, Lesswing is also an expert in blockchain technology, according to his LinkedIn profile. A note posted on the Inman Coast to Coast Facebook group suggested that Lesswing would pursue blockchain work after leaving NAR.
The move comes ahead of NAR’s new tech-focused iOi summit in San Francisco.
With Lesswing’s departure, members of NAR’s IT team will begin reporting to John Pierpoint, who is now NAR’s chief financial officer and chief internal operations officer, Goldberg said.
Goldberg took over as CEO of NAR a year ago. In this week’s letter, Goldberg said the restructuring was part of an effort to make NAR “less top-heavy.”
Update: This story has been updated to include comment from NAR.