Zillow Co-Founder Rich Barton Returns as CEO, Replacing Outgoing Chief Spencer Rascoff
Zillow’s stock fell as much as 8.6% late Thursday after the company announced that Spencer Rascoff, the company’s CEO since 2010, will step down. Rich Barton, who co-founded Zillow and previously served as CEO, will take over from Rascoff.
The real-estate company also reported earnings Thursday, with revenue in the last three months of 2018 rising 29% to $365 million and its net loss growing to $98 million in the quarter from $77 million the same quarter a year earlier.
The change in leadership comes during what Barton described in Zillow’s earnings release as “a year of transformation and investment.” Zillow’s “Premier Agent” segment, which made up 60% of revenue last quarter, saw revenue growth of 11%, below the 21%-to-26% growth rates of newer businesses such as rentals and mortgages.
Barton said that the “Premier Agent business is still recovering from some mid-year challenges” and that the company was at “an inflection point” in its long-term goal of simplifying real-estate transactions.
Zillow’s shares closed official trading Thursday at $35.04 a share, down 46% from last June and flat with where the stock was trading in May of 2016.
In a letter to employees that Axios’ Dan Primack shared on Twitter, Rascoff said that “I will remain deeply involved with Zillow as a board director and major shareholder. But after 14 years at Zillow, I am excited to take a break and see what’s next.”
Zillow’s stock initially fell as much as 8.6% in after-hours trading to $31.97 a share following the announcements before rebounding to $37.15 a share, or 6% above the official closing price Thursday.