A mere three months after joining Keller Williams parent company kwx, former Walmart chief marketing officer Tony Rogers has left his post with the Texas franchisor, Inman has learned.
Neither Rogers, who served as chief growth officer at the company, nor Keller Williams disclosed the reasoning behind the resignation.
“Tony Rogers will be stepping away from his role as Head of Marketing and Communications,” KW founder Gary Keller, president Marc King and COO Sajag Patel wrote in a joint statement. “In a short time, Tony has made invaluable contributions and will be staying on to help support the work he started and to help make the transition as smooth as possible.”
“We are so grateful for the relationship we’ve developed with Tony and look forward to many years of working together as opportunities arise,” they added. “Onward…”
Kwx recruited Rogers in March to spearhead growth at Keller Williams’ Realty, Keller Mortgage, Keller Covered, Keller Offers and Keller Williams Worldwide through strategic marketing, branding and other communications-driven innovation and initiatives.
Prior to joining KWx, Rogers spent more than two decades leading the global marketing strategies for Walmart, Sam’s Club, Frito-Lay and Pillsbury, and hoped to bring the same magic to Keller Williams, which has undergone a massive — and sometimes troublesome — transformation since founder Gary Keller announced his namesake’s tech pivot.
“We are a technology company,” Keller declared at Keller Williams’ Family Reunion in February 2018. “No. 1, that means we build the technology. No. 2, that means we hire the technologists …. We are not a real estate company anymore.”
Rogers seemed to be onboard with Keller’s tech vision, with the now-former chief growth officer telling Inman in March he was ready to bolster the company to the top of the real estate tech heap.
“I was instantly drawn to the people, culture and vision at Keller Williams,” he said. “Like so many industries, real estate is being radically transformed by technology. And I am excited to have the opportunity to lean further into the disruption as we continue to position for aggressive growth.”
Alongside Rogers departure, Keller Williams also announced the retirement of longtime KW Maps Coaching VP Monica Reynolds. Keller, King and Patel called Reynolds a “world-class leader” and said she’ll stay involved with the KW Maps in an advisory role as new VP Jen Davis takes over, they said in the statement.
“We’re extremely thankful for the high-impact role Monica has played in the ongoing growth of the KW MAPS Coaching team during her time at its helm,” the statement reads. “A world-class leader, her legacy will continue to inspire our coaches and agents for years to come.”
It’s unclear why Rogers is leaving, but his departure marks the continuation of a years-long game of musical chairs in Keller Williams’ c-suite as the franchisor restructured and launched new subsidiaries.
Former CEO John Davis and former president Josh Team exited in 2019 and 2021, respectively, as Gary Keller temporarily stepped in as CEO while scouting new leaders. “Onward,” Keller said of the leadership shakeups. “It’s not just a phrase – it embodies the forward-looking perspective of our organization.”
The franchisor seemed to stabilize after Team’s February 2021 exit, with them announcing a slew of strategic hires and promotions aimed at bolstering its technology, growth strategy, and agent support and education services.
However, turbulence returned in the first quarter of the year as Keller Williams blocked rival eXp Realty from hiring former CEO Mark Willis while it simultaneously recruited eXp President of Operations Stacey Onnen to become its newest head of brokerage operations.
Then, on June 1, Gary Keller announced kwx CEO Carl Liebert’s departure, saying Liebert “is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.”
“I want to thank Carl for his sincere hard work on all our behalf and to wish him the very best in his next chapter,” he said in an email that explained Liebert’s role wouldn’t be filled immediately. “Carl contributed his leadership and experience to our team at a critical moment in our history. We are all the better for the time we shared working together.”
In response to growing speculation about Keller Williams’ path, a brokerage spokesperson told Inman in May the shakeup isn’t a signal of bad times to come, but instead a signal of Keller Williams’ commitment to growth with the best talent.
“We were pleased with our recent results posted and our growth path going forward,” the spokesperson said of the franchisors’ first-quarter 2022 earnings with a record-breaking $108.4 billion in agent sales.
In December, newly minted KW President Marc King said Keller Williams would continue to take advantage of the labor market by making new hires, giving promotions and doing any restructuring needed to push the franchisor forward.
“The labor market around Austin, our remote work strategy, and other external factors have played a role in our hiring this year,” told Inman in December. “All of that has created a ton of excitement, a ton of opportunity and plays into our strategy moving forward.”