Jim Harrison, who helmed the Silicon Valley multiple listing service MLSListings for years, has officially left the organization after being put on leave last fall.
Harrison confirmed to Inman Friday that he officially left MLSListings in December. He said his departure was a “professional transition, it was just a surprise.” In the time since, Harrison added, he has begun consulting for Compass.
Harrison had served as CEO of MLSListings since 2005 and, prior to being placed on administrative leave, had grown the organization to about 16,000 subscribers.
News that Harrison had been placed on leave first surfaced in November. He told Inman Friday that he learned about the leave shortly after returning from a business trip to China with a virus.
“I was still in the hospital when they called and put me on leave,” he said.
In November, when asked what had happened, Harrison told Inman that “I’m not going to go into details. It’s bullshit.”
Harrison explained Friday that his official exit came as a result of negotiations that wrapped up in December. The agreements that resulted from those negotiations prevent Harrison from sharing additional details about what happened, but he said that generally he never received more clarity on why he was forced out.
He also said that he “made the company two million bucks last year. How can I be more productive?”
“I liked what I was doing at MLSListings,” he added. “It was amazing.”
Administrative leave in the corporate space today is often associated with sexual harassment and the “me too” movement. However, when asked in November if his situation had anything to do with sexual harassment allegations, Harrison said it did not.
In a statement to Inman Friday, MLSListings confirmed “that after fourteen years of service, Jim Harrison is stepping down as CEO and leaving” the organization.
“We thank him for his years of dedicated service and wish him well,” the statement continued. “Dave Wetzel will remain in the role of interim CEO ensuring operations at MLSListings and our commitment to provide excellence to our customers will continue.”
Wetzel, who is also MLSListings’ chief operating officer, took over the position of interim CEO last fall after Harrison was put on leave.
MLSListings describes itself as the premier multiple listing service for Northern California. In 2018, it teamed up with several other multiple listing services to create a new company, called MLS Aligned, that was a first runner up for an Inman Innovator Award.
In Harrison’s case, he said Friday that since leaving MLSListings he has been “spending a lot of extra time with my granddaughter,” and is also clearing land for his retirement home in Texas’ Hill Country.
He also remains actively engaged with the real estate industry. Harrison described his consulting work for Compass as an “industry relations type job,” and said that he still has “a lot of contacts and a lot of knowledge” that he can deploy.
“Real estate’s my business,” he concluded. “It’s my life. I just want to throw myself into it.”
Update: This post was updated after publication with additional comment from MLSListings.
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