The Real Deal New York

Realogy names successor to CEO after
21 years

Ryan Schneider comes from Capital One
By E.B. Solomont | October 23, 2017 05:50PM

From left: Richard Smith, Kathy Korte, Ryan Schneider and Pam Liebman

Realogy Corp. — the parent company of the Corcoran Group, Citi Habitats and Sotheby’s International Realty — has tapped a banking executive with a track record of using data and technology to drive business as its new CEO.

Ryan Schneider, an executive at Capital One, will succeed longtime chief executive Richard Smith, who has steered the New Jersey-based real estate conglomerate for 21 years. Smith and Realogy disclosed the hunt for a successor earlier this year in regulatory filings. Schneider, who takes the job amid increasing competition in the brokerage world, will assume the CEO post on Dec. 31.

Schneider got his start at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and joined Capital One in 2002. From 2007 to 2016, he was president of its Card division, where he oversaw 10,000 employees and grew net income to more than $2 billion a year.

In a statement, Michael Williams, Realogy’s lead independent director, cited Schneider’s experience utilizing “Big Data, rigorous analytics and new technology” to drive results. Williams, a former president and CEO of Fannie Mae, will also succeed Smith as Realogy’s chairman of the board.

In March, Realogy’s board offered Smith a two-year contract while it formalized a succession plan for the company, a process he was part of.  Smith was tapped as the corporation’s CEO after leading Cendant Corp.’s real estate division, which was spun off to create Realogy. Analysts have credited him with getting Realogy’s business back on track and paying down debt following its IPO in 2012. He also steered Realogy through the worst housing crisis in recent history. Last year, the company generated $5.8 billion in revenue, up 2 percent from 2015.

As part of Realogy’s succession plan, the company created a president and COO role to ensure a “deep bench of management talent,” a spokesperson told The Real Deal earlier this year.

Corcoran Group CEO Pam Liebman’s track record has fueled speculation that she could be tapped for a larger role within the company’s NRT division, which includes Corcoran, Citi Habitats and Sotheby’s International Realty. “She’s capable of running something much larger,” Smith told TRD last year. “Someday, she could run NRT.”