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IBuying behemoth Opendoor announced Thursday it has hired Sydney Schaub to serve as the company’s new chief legal officer.
Schaub — whose hiring was announced via a blog post from CEO Eric Wu — comes to Opendoor from Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange. She spent nearly four years as the chief legal officer at Gemini and has previous experience working on the legal teams at Google and digital payments firm Square.
In his blog post Wu describes Schaub as a “seasoned executive who has not only excelled in the legal field but has been instrumental in making companies that are disrupting old ways of doing business into household names.”
“And as a leader at Opendoor,” Wu added, “she exemplifies the qualities we seek in our team members: mission-driven, principled and customer-obsessed.”
Schaub joins Opendoor at a pivotal time. After losing money for years, the company turned a profit for the first time ever during the first quarter of 2022. It also set a company record by raking in $5.2 billion in revenue during the first months of the year.
The profits and revenue presented a bullish picture of iBuying at a time when, thanks to Zillow’s failure, many observers were questioning the sector.
However, in the time since that upbeat earnings report, mortgage rates have spiked and home price appreciation has slowed. The result has been a dramatic shift in the housing market.
How that shift has impacted iBuyers remains to be seen, though Opendoor next reports earnings in a week. Either way, real estate analyst Mike DelPrete recently observed that Opendoor’s buy-to-list premium (the difference between the purchase price and current listing price of a home) has fallen dramatically. The premium is an indicator of profitability, and DelPrete describes the drop as a reflection of the shifting market, though he argued that the company is nevertheless “deftly riding a dynamic market.”
The company also continues expanding geographically and in June hit a 50-market milestone.
Whatever happens with the upcoming earnings, Opendoor’s leadership team — including Schaub — is now tasked with growing in a market that’s unlike anything the company has dealt with before.
Wu was nevertheless upbeat in his blog post, saying that Schaub’s experience “will be vital to Opendoor’s success as we expand into new markets and continue to modernize the consumer real estate transaction.”
“We intend on being able to reach everyone across the U.S. with our products and services,” Wu added, “and, as we head into this next chapter of growth, it’s imperative that we have leaders who can help us navigate it.”