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Opendoor Founder Eric Wu Leaving Firm To Focus On Startups

Wu based Opendoor in 2014 and served as the corporate’s chief govt officer till final 12 months. He mentioned in an announcement that he’s leaving to deal with constructing new issues.

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Roughly a decade after he based Opendoor, Eric Wu is now leaving the iBuying big to deal with constructing different startups.

Eric Wu

The corporate first introduced Wu’s departure Friday in a submitting with the U.S. Securities and Change Fee. Although Wu will proceed to carry an advisory position at Opendoor, he’ll relinquish his present place on the corporate board and can now not have administration obligations. The adjustments go into impact starting Jan. 1.

Wu had been serving as CEO of the corporate up till a couple of 12 months in the past, when he moved into a brand new place as president of Market. The brand new position gave him oversight of Exclusives, the corporate’s asset-light market that’s designed to attach consumers and sellers with out requiring Opendoor itself to really purchase any homes.

With Wu’s departure, Opendoor Vice President and Common Supervisor Merav Bloch will take over administration of Exclusives, a venture the corporate described as an ongoing precedence.

Opendoor CEO Carrie Wheeler, who assumed the chief govt chair when Wu stepped down final 12 months, will stay in her place.

In an announcement, Wu defined his departure as an effort to get again to what he loves doing.

“After ten years, I’m known as to get again to my startup roots and create and construct once more,” he mentioned within the assertion.

Wu additionally touted Opendoor’s success over time, saying that “over 250,000 people and households have trusted us to simplify their largest transaction, we have now modified a whole class, and we have now constructed the inspiration for the subsequent decade of innovation and development.”

“I’m humbled by this accomplishment and grateful for all my teammates who helped form the product, tradition, and firm,” he added within the assertion.

Wu’s accomplishments have been vital certainly. Although residence flipping has existed as a enterprise mannequin for years, Wu modified the class by bringing huge expertise, huge funding and massive scale to the idea. Not was cash-based flipping one thing for the small time Residence Depot set. As a substitute, Wu and his firm constructed a user-friendly expertise product that feels each fashionable and streamlined in comparison with conventional methods of doing actual property. Wu additionally managed to win the backing of massive names resembling Softbank, and finally impressed incumbent firms resembling Zillow, Redfin and plenty of others to repeat his enterprise mannequin.

The end result was that within the late 2010s and early 2020s, iBuying was one of many buzziest and most feared ideas in actual property. The mannequin routinely prompted discussions about the way forward for actual property brokers, and a few observers predicted main percentages of the housing market may finally transact by tech-enabled money provides.

Situations, nevertheless, started to vary because the COVID-19 pandemic waned and federal regulators labored rapidly to rein in inflation — efforts that despatched mortgage charges hovering at report charges. The impact was a considerably cooled actual property market with scant stock and meager worth appreciation, each of which represented challenges for firms that needed to flip houses rapidly and for a revenue.

Between 2021 and 2022, Zillow and Redfin additionally each gave up on iBuying, leaving Opendoor the undisputed king of the money supply hill.

Wu stepped down from his position as CEO proper in the course of the market shift, final 12 months, at a time when it was clear that the heady instances of the pandemic had ended however earlier than charges reached their 2023 excessive factors.

The comparatively brutal actual property market of 2023 has taken a toll on Opendoor’s earnings — because it has with most actual property firms — with income falling 71 % 12 months over 12 months within the third quarter. Regardless of the dip, although, the corporate managed to trim year-over-year losses between July and September.

Carrie Wheeler 

Although a slower market has arguably made iBuying a less-buzzy idea, Opendoor has constantly argued that it’s poised to thrive over the lengthy haul. In the course of the firm’s most up-to-date earnings name, as an illustration, Wheeler touted market share beneficial properties and improved price buildings, noting that “we consider we have now laid the inspiration to emerge from this cycle extra resilient and well-positioned for continued share beneficial properties and long-term profitability.”

In an announcement Friday, Wheeler additionally praised Wu for taking the “radical thought of simplifying life’s largest and most complicated transaction” and remodeling “it into a totally digital, streamlined expertise on a world-class expertise platform.”

“I wish to thank Eric for his braveness, innovation, and grit over time,” Wheeler added. “Opendoor wouldn’t be right here with out him and his unwavering dedication to our clients.”

E-mail Jim Dalrymple II



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