Corcoran shakeup: Bill Cunningham out; Gary Malin now COO

President of sales leaving while Citi Habitats boss takes on additional role at sister firm

Nov.November 14, 2019 07:45 PM
Bill Cunningham and Citi Habitat's Gary Malin. The longtime president of sales is leaving the firm.

Bill Cunningham and Citi Habitat’s Gary Malin. The longtime president of sales is leaving the firm.

Bill Cunningham, the Corcoran Group’s president of sales, is leaving the firm, The Real Deal has learned. The move is part of a broader shakeup that will also see Gary Malin, president of sister firm Citi Habitats, add the role of COO of Corcoran to his responsibilities.

Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman

In an email to agents Thursday, Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman said Cunningham’s departure is one of several changes underway at the company, which is a subsidiary of publicly traded Realogy. Corcoran is realigning its management team to focus on a “regional support structure” that Liebman will oversee, she wrote. In Cunningham’s wake, Michael Sorrentino, who oversees Brooklyn sales, will add oversight of Manhattan to his responsibilities.

“Corcoran is an incredibly strong brand, and I am confident these changes will make us even better,” she wrote in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by TRD. Sources familiar with the discussions said that among the changes was Malin’s elevation to the COO role at Corcoran. Malin has been leading Citi Habitats, which specializes in rentals, since 1998.

Cunningham joined Corcoran in 2001 and worked his way up to running the firm’s flagship office on the East Side. In 2014, he did a brief stint as president of Trump International Realty, before rejoining Corcoran as general sales manager.

In that role, he served as Liebman’s top deputy and confidante as the firm battled to maintain its dominance in the face of stiff competition and aggressive recruiting, particularly from Compass. With 1,320 Manhattan agents and $4.5 billion in closed sell-side deals, Corcoran was the No. 2 firm in the city last year, down 28 percent year-over-year, according to an analysis by TRD.

Neither Corcoran nor Cunningham immediately returned calls for comment.

Cunningham’s departure comes two months after Corcoran was hit by a major data breach, in which agent splits, marketing budgets and gross commission income were leaked to the entire company in an email. Though the email came from Cunningham’s account, Corcoran said criminal hackers were to blame.

Still, the trove of leaked information shed light on the health of the firm, which is one of the most successful subsidiaries of Realogy. The New Jersey-based conglomerate, which is also the parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty, Citi Habitats and Coldwell Banker, has seen its stock plummet over the past 18 months amid a slowdown in the luxury market and heightened competition for top agents. In addition to rolling out cost-cutting measures, Realogy announced last week that it is selling its relocation business for $400 million to help pay down $3.5 billion in debt.

In Thursday’s email, Liebman hinted that Corcoran, too, has been impacted by the changes to the brokerage landscape. She called Cunningham a colleague and a “very good friend,” and said she’d be spending more time with agents in the field, “actively listening, collaborating and supporting” them. She also said she’d be attending rotating sales meetings each week, and having biweekly breakfasts with agents.

“As always, I will be available to help you with my favorite thing, getting your deals done,” she wrote.

Though she did not address agent departures specifically, this month Brian Meier and his team joined Christie’s International Real Estate from Corcoran. And in the Hamptons, agents Cee Scott Brown and Jack Pearson joined Compass.

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