Citi Habitats’ rentals director leaves after 18 years

Gordon Golub’s news comes on the heels of another key departure from the brokerage
By Katherine Clarke | January 10, 2013 01:50PM

On the heels of the departure of its new development marketing chief, another key Citi Habitats executive has left the building. Gordon Golub, the firm’s number two and an executive vice president and director of rentals, departed the firm yesterday after 18 years on the job, The Real Deal has learned. The reasons for his departure were not immediately clear.

Citi Habitats told The Real Deal that Golub’s responsibilities will be absorbed by Peter Sobeck, previously a senior vice president for Citi Habitats’ parent company NRT, who will now take on the role of executive vice president and COO at the brokerage. Sobeck, who will oversee Citi Habitats education, marketing, training and technology initiatives and be responsible for the firm’s management and sales associate development programs, has been a member of Citi Habitats’ management team for two years.

The news of Golub’s departure comes amid a number of high-profile defections from Gary Malin’s rental giant. Clifford Finn, Citi Habitats’ head of new development marketing, left the brokerage after eight years to join Prudential Douglas Elliman’s new development marketing arm late last year, taking his team with him. Key agents have also departed the firm: Rado Varchola, who in 2011 was named Citi Habitats’ Top Individual of the year by overall production and Top Individual of the year in sales, left the firm in September. Varchola left for Nest Seekers. Mitchell Cashwell, a top-producing agent, also departed the company last year to join Town Residential. Cashwell was recognized as a top rental agent at Citi in 2005 and as a top sales agent from 2009 to 2011.

“This is craziness to me. Gordon was one of the most loyal people [to the firm],” said one broker who departed the firm last year. “Gordon was the only person I would have stayed at Citi for. He is such a good guy and he knows what he’s doing.”

Others speculated that the brokerage’s recent rebranding efforts may not have impressed some agents. The firm unveiled its new logo, colors and branding to its agents in the fall, The Real Deal previously reported. It also plans to launch a new website in the coming months and is closing its Gramercy-area offices in an effort to consolidate its presence in the neighborhood and expand elsewhere in the city.

“The whole look at the campaign received negative feedback from many people in the industry,” one source said.

In a statement to The Real Deal, Citi President Gary Malin lauded Sobeck’s promotion as “a huge benefit to the company.”

“Peter is no stranger to Citi Habitats, having worked with our management team and agents over the last two years,” he said. “Gordon Golub played an integral part in the growth and remarkable success of Citi Habitats. We will miss Gordon but send him off with our deep thanks and best wishes for the success of his new endeavor.”

Beyond a short statement relaying his gratitude to the firm for a “rewarding” 18 years, Golub declined to comment on his reasons for departing the company.

As The Real Deal previously reported, since Finn’s departure, Citi Habitats has announced it will partner with Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group in all its new development endeavors going forward.