Despite a tumultuous six months for Zillow, the firm’s shareholders appear committed to CEO and co-founder Rich Barton.
In a rather uneventful meeting on Tuesday, which included no questions from investors, the firm’s shareholders voted to re-elect Barton, as well as Lloyd Frink and April Underwood, to the board of directors until the company’s 2025 meeting. All three candidates were easily elected, according to a filing this the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee.
These re-elections come as Zillow continues to deal with the ongoing wind down of its struggling iBuying business, Zillow Offers, announced in early November. This wind down has resulted in the loss of about 1,605 job or roughly 25% of the firm’s workforce and came as the company reported a third quarter 2021 net income loss of $328 million, mostly due to a $421 million net loss before taxes on Zillow Offers. At the time of the initial announcement, Zillow Offers held roughly 18,000 homes and by early May, the firm had sold or disposed of roughly 85% of those homes.
The ‘housing super app,’ according to investor slides filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, will provide mortgage pre-approval, “immersive shopping,” facilitate in-person touring, and home financing. Meanwhile, Stephen Capezza, the firm’s SVP of business operations, said the changes to Premier Agent, which went into effect on May 25 in the Raleigh and Denver metro areas, will give Zillow the chance to experiment and “pilot new products and services designed to help customers move quickly and be competitive buyers,” before rolling them out nationwide.
In addition to dealing with the shuttering of its iBuying program and the creation of its “super app” and “Zillow 2.0”, Zillow has also been embroiled in an ongoing anti-trust lawsuit with the National Association of Realtor and REX Homes.
All things considered, it is clear that Zillow is undergoing changes and experimenting with new business models, but the one constant appears to be Barton’s role as CEO.