Zillow founder Rich Barton has become a billionaire.
The listings giant CEO hit the milestone after strong results from Zillow’s risky new instant home-buying strategy caused shares to increase by 17 percent on Thursday, according to Forbes. The share price closed at higher than $64 for the first time since June 2018, putting the value of Barton’s 15.8 million shares at just over $1 billion.
Barton owns the largest individual stake in Zillow, which he started with four colleagues from his prior company, Expedia.
He stepped down from his CEO position in 2010 and stayed on as executive chairman but returned to his CEO role last February to lead Zillow’s iBuying charge through its service Zillow Offers.
The company’s stock still struggled throughout 2019, but Zillow released the year’s full earnings report Wednesday and showed enough momentum to raise its stock price significantly. [Forbes] – Eddie Small