New leadership structure
Opendoor CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Wu shared this email to Opendoor teammates.
12/1/2022 · 4 min read
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Opendoor CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Wu shared this email to Opendoor teammates on December 1, 2022. A press release was also issued in relation to this news here.
To my Opendoor community,
I’ve decided to transition from my role as CEO to President of Marketplace, and we are naming Carrie Wheeler as our new CEO. First, I believe that an important driver of shareholder value is the discovery and refinement of product market fit, and I want to spend my days, nights, and weekends delivering products that address consumer needs. Second, and more importantly, I’ve spent countless hours with Carrie, and I know she is the leader and executive Opendoor needs.
When we started in 2013, we had borrowed office space and a whiteboard with the words “buy and sell a home in a few clicks”. While we had a clear vision, our story wasn’t up and to the right. We’ve had to break through walls each year and put in the hard work while no one was looking to overcome challenges. One of my fondest memories was sleeping on air mattresses in Phoenix, 10 teammates at a time, working 100 hours a week. Don’t ask me why we didn’t buy sheets. But, we spent our time talking to customers daily and overcoming any obstacle we faced.
Fast forward nine years, we’ve served more than 200,000 customers, generated more than $30B in revenue, sent over 6M home offers in more than 50 markets, and hired thousands of talented, mission-oriented teammates. But, more importantly, we’ve changed the industry indefinitely and created thousands of stories like Charlisa Boyd, who even years later emails me with gratitude and life updates.
I often say startups are like babies: they all look about the same when they’re born and they’re a little awkward in the beginning, but with nurturing, love and commitment, they have the chance to grow up to be unique adults. Opendoor has been my baby for the last nine years. I’ve given everything I could and more to our mission, believing in the work down to my bones. I’ve hired people who have become my best friends. I’ve spoken with hundreds of customers. I’ve worn the same blue t-shirt every day for five years. I never imagined anyone else parenting this child.
But, my mind started to change when I met Carrie. I remember meeting her at Red Door Coffee across the street from the SF office and saying to myself, she’s a badass. Carrie is not just very sharp with great business instincts, but also is a genuine, authentic person. And, it was clear from the start that she was someone I could learn from and partner with. Opendoor in many ways is like an online retailer and her deep retail, consumer, capital markets and investing experience bring much to the table. Months later, she joined our Board of Directors, helping shape our direction and rolling up her sleeves to do anything when we needed to navigate the pandemic. During the summer of 2020, we decided to go public in three months, and I asked Carrie if she would step into the CFO role to get us there, knowing she would be underutilized in that role given her depth of experience. After two years of firsthand experience, I know she will be the executive and leader necessary for our success in this next chapter.
Importantly, to my teammates and shareholders, I’m not going anywhere. I will be working on our marketplace full-time and bringing the relentless force required to build an industry-defining startup. Over the past few years, it crystallized in my head that a third-party business leveraging our platform was the future of the consumer experience and a major part of our potential opportunity. When I found myself spending spare cycles thinking about what that could look and feel like, the benefits to the consumer, and the change it could provide to Opendoor, I knew I wanted and needed to spend all of my energy there. I often talk about the importance of singular focus, and it is now my time to follow my own advice.
Finally, in one of our first offsites, I asked everyone to share why they love Opendoor and what they are looking forward to, alongside a baby picture. What I wrote eight years ago still holds true today. Serving our customers – and working alongside all of you – has and continues to be the greatest privilege of my life.
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Eric Wu is the CEO and co-founder of Opendoor.