Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman has stepped down. Scott Durkin, the brokerage’s president and chief operating officer, will assume her role effective immediately.
In an interview, Durkin said the move had been in the works for six months.
“It’s not sudden and it’s in line with our plans for the company,” he said. “It was in the planning and this was exactly the time that we were planning on announcing it.”
Bloomberg first reported the news Tuesday morning.
Herman purchased Elliman in 2003 in partnership with Howard Lorber, the firm’s executive chairman. She sold her 29% stake in the brokerage for $40 million in 2018, making the Lorber’s Vector Group its sole owner.
Durkin said Herman would remain involved in the company at an “advisory level” as vice-chair and would continue participating in events and employee and agent coaching.
Herman could not be immediately reached. She told Bloomberg that Elliman “is in excellent and very capable hands.” Last week, Herman appeared on Fox Business to speak about New York City’s real estate market and concerns over rising crime.
Durkin joined Elliman in 2015 to lead the firm’s national expansion. He was hired from Corcoran, where he started working as an agent in 1991. Two years later, he was named president, a new position at the firm, prompting speculation that he was being groomed to replace Herman.
Durkin denied that at the time, and did so again in a May interview with The Real Deal, asserting that there had not been any conversations about succession at the brokerage.
“That’s probably the most difficult conversation for any company to have,” he said. “We haven’t had any conversation.”
Durkin told Bloomberg on Tuesday that Herman told him, “Someday you are going to run this company.’ She said, ‘I need another me.’”
Elliman’s parent company will report its second quarter earnings on Thursday.