Opendoor CEO Eric Wu steps down amid turbulence

CFO Carrie Wheeler to lead the struggling company, which lost nearly $1B in Q3 2022

Opendoor Technologies CEO Eric Wu is stepping down at the iBuyer amid turbulence in the housing market and mounting financial losses.

Carrie Wheeler, the company’s chief financial officer, will ascend to the role as CEO and Wu will become president of marketplace, the company said late Thursday.

The news comes one day after Wu canceled his scheduled presentation at the Credit Suisse annual technology conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on Wednesday.

“Over several years, I built conviction that our third-party marketplace is what homebuyers and sellers need, will fundamentally change how all homes are transacted and is a critical piece of Opendoor’s future. Thus, I’ve made the decision to focus my time and energy on building and delivering on this vision,” Wu said in prepared remarks Thursday. “More importantly, I know firsthand that Carrie’s depth of experience and leadership will be foundational to our success in this next chapter.”

Wheeler spent 21 years at private equity giant TPG and headed up the firm’s retail investments. She joined Opendoor in 2020.

“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 Thursday. “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.”

Opendoor pioneered the iBuying model, but is now one of only two large players still in the space (Offerpad being the other). Opendoor lost nearly $1 billion in the third quarter and had to write down inventory by $573 million after losing money on thousands of home sales. It laid off 18% of its staff and expects to lose money again in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Wheeler becoming CEO and Wu transitioning to president, Andrew Low Ah Kee resigned as company president.

The company has been trying to reinvent itself somewhat in recent months. In the summer it launched Opendoor Exclusives, an online platform for homebuyers to browse and buy properties being sold by the iBuyer. Last month, the company announced that it would be opening the platform to home sellers as well.

The properties listed on the platform are on a first-come, first-serve basis, which eliminates bidding wars, price negotiations and the need for real estate love letters. Prospective homebuyers can use the online platform to reserve and fill out a contract for the home. In addition, Opendoor says that homebuyers may back out of the purchase at any time and receive a full refund on their earnest money deposits.