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Amid ongoing turmoil for the leading iBuyer company, Opendoor announced Thursday that it had replaced its chief executive officer and its president has resigned.
The changes come weeks after the company reported losing nearly $1 billion in the third quarter of the year and as it holds onto homes whose values have dropped with the market downturn.
The company announced Carrie Wheeler, until now its chief financial officer, had replaced Opendoor founder Eric Wu as the new CEO, effective immediately.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Opendoor as we transform the way to buy and sell real estate,” Wheeler said in a statement announcing the changes. “We’ve built a solid financial foundation with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position that sets us up to not just manage through this current housing cycle but emerge stronger with market leadership.”
Wu, who founded Opendoor in 2014, will remain with the company as its president of Marketplace.
Wu had been scheduled to give a speech at a technology conference held by Credit Suisse on Wednesday. Shortly before the event, Opendoor removed the announcement and Wu apparently didn’t speak at the conference.
A spokesman told Inman on Wednesday that “there was a scheduling change, so had to cancel.”
In a public statement and a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced President Andrew Low Ah Kee, who had been Opendoor’s president since November 2020, resigned from the company.
Low Ah Kee will act as a strategic adviser through the end of the first quarter of next year, the company said.
In an interview with Inman two weeks ago, Low Ah Kee said the fourth quarter would likely be a “trough” for Opendoor, indicating more losses are likely ahead.
The company announced Christy Schwartz as its new interim CFO as Opendoor looks for a permanent one.
Opendoor has been working to roll out new features that present less risk to the company. Historically, iBuyers have purchased homes quickly and conducted some repairs before selling them, ideally at a profit.
Opendoor has been buying fewer homes of late. In the second quarter, it bought 3,653 more homes than it sold as the market was reaching its peak, and it’s still working to sell many of them.
Wu initially started a tech-based real estate company that he later sold to Trulia in 2010. He has said his goal was to make buying and selling homes easy enough to do on a mobile device.
The company is moving forward with a product called Exclusives.
Opendoor began work on Exclusives more than a year ago, when the real estate market was still booming and before mortgage rates began their record-setting and deal-killing rise. The company actually teased the platform in May and then announced the buyer-focused part of the marketplace in August.
The vision for Exclusives is that it will eventually be populated by many independent buyers and sellers. And in that way, intention aside, it effectively is an asset-light way for the company to remain central in consumers’ real estate transactions. Opendoor charges sellers a 5 percent fee — that’s how it makes money from the program — but avoids having to put up its own cash to purchase homes. It also doesn’t have to shell out for costly repairs.
Wu’s new position would allow him to focus on Exclusives, Wheeler said in the statement.
“We will be focused on continuing to drive operational excellence, enhancing our unit economics, and delivering a best-in-class customer experience,” she said. “Furthermore, we are excited to continue to innovate and empower Eric to drive the development of our third-party marketplace.”