Pam O’Connor steps down as CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World
Pam O’Connor announced that she was stepping down from the role she has had for nearly the last 20 years as CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE). As we had written late last year, after nearly 20 years with five leaders all in their roles at leading U.S. real estate organizations, some changes would ultimately take place. Pam is the second major figure to step down after Richard Smith of Realogy did so late last year.
It is not that those of us who know Pam think this means she’s retiring. Hardly. For one, she will remain a Board member of Leading RE. Her friends believe she will be involved in the industry in areas yet for her to determine. My thought is that it is a matter of which opportunities she will choose from in the weeks and months ahead. For, without doubt, she is one of the great talented leaders of our times.
For those who don’t know, Pam and I have been competitors, peers and friends for nearly 40 years. Once upon a time, I had a job like Pam’s, managing a network of independent brokerage firms. What most people don’t realize is that LeadingRE didn’t just happen; it was not ordained that it would. There were huge competitive issues between the large independent networks at that time, RELO, All Points, Reliance Relocation, etc. There was actually more that divided them than what may have caused them to merge. Those of us who have been around for some time know some of this. Pam knows it all.
As much as any single factor, it was Pam’s calmness and character that helped those large independent brokerage firm merge in the first place. And, she was instrumental in developing key organizational structures that have helped it thrive today. Her team oversaw the rebranding from the referral-focused RELO to today’s Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. She also helped recruit and develop Paul Boomsma, who succeeds her in the CEO role. He is as well prepared as a person can be, and in our view, the ideal candidate to lead the organization forward.
While Pam will still be around the industry, doing as Jim Collins suggests and being useful, those who have known and enjoyed Pam will miss her nonetheless. The list of her qualities and attributes would require more time and space than this publication has available. But some that stand out to us are smart, steadfast, positive, integrity and humility. She has them all.