Keller Williams’ holding company names 3 execs

Keller Williams’ holding company names 3 execs
Keller Williams Realty is revamping its leadership team yet again, announcing on Monday three senior hires to a recently created holding company.

Carl Liebert, CEO of KWx – which formed in October as the holding company for Keller Williams, named Mark Foley as KWx’s first chief people officer and Stacie Shirley as its maiden chief financial officer. KWx also announced Travis Peace as its first head of business development and partnerships.

The moves are the latest from Liebert and Gary Keller, Keller Williams’ co-founder whose official title is now executive chairman.

“There may be other hires coming in short order,” Liebert said in an interview Monday, stating that he was looking to fill more KWx positions with “good cultural fits.”

In Foley, Liebert hired a human resources no. 1 that he met while CEO of 24 Hour Fitness.

Foley has a long track record as a human resources executive, but no prior experience in real estate. He spent the last 2 ½ years as president of Level Up, a human resources consulting company, and before that was a human resources officer at the Raley’s supermarket chain, as well as 24 Hour Fitness.

Similarly, Shirley has years of financial leadership experience, including at retailers Tuesday Morning and Neiman Marcus, but does not possess a real estate background.

Peace, on the other hand, was the vice president of mortgage at Tomo, a recently created company to facilitate easier mortgage transactions. Peace and Liebert overlapped at USAA, an insurance agent for the military and their families.

Liebert himself does not have a background in real estate, and his prior executive stints include Auto Nation and Home Depot.

Liebert and Keller caused a stir in February when they announced that Josh Team left as Keller Williams president, a week after Team literally took centerstage at the company’s annual meeting.

An internal hire, Marc King, replaced Team, and Keller Williams also brought on Chris Cox, formerly of Bain & Company, to lead the brokerage franchise’s technology and digital.

Some real estate agents inside and outside Keller Williams said that the moves were uninspired and noted those advancing were all white men.

Liebert noted Monday that Gary Keller has established a social equity task force, and he pointed to recent diverse hires including TV Kumaresh (another USAA alum) as KWx’s head of strategy.

The new hires will foster “a much more inclusionary environment,” Liebert said.

The launch of KWx comes as Keller Williams wants to beef up beyond real estate transactions and move further into mortgage, title, and insurance as well as a nascent iBuying program.

The point of KWx, Liebert said, is to develop “efficiencies across these ecosystems.”
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