Compass’ COO Maëlle Gavet is out

Exec's exit is highest-profile departure at resi firm

Compass’ chief operating officer Maëlle Gavet is leaving the residential brokerage next month, according to sources familiar with the matter. Gavet’s exit is the most notable in a string of recent departures from the SoftBank-backed firm.

In an email to agents Tuesday, CEO Robert Reffkin called her departure a “mutual decision.”

“Maelle will be moving on to focus her attention on a new opportunity outside of Compass,” he wrote. “The company will not be hiring a replacement for her role.”

“Growing Compass alongside Robert and our amazing employees and agents has been one of the most rewarding and energizing experiences of my life,” Gavet said in a statement Tuesday. ” I am incredibly proud of all that we accomplished.”

Gavet, a former top executive at Priceline Group, was hired with much fanfare in 2017. But in recent months, sources have described tension between her and CEO Robert Reffkin over the strategic direction of Compass.

“She was not the Sheryl to his Mark,” one source said.

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Inman reported the news of the departure earlier Tuesday.

In June, Compass said it was reorganizing its C-suite to streamline roles. Gavet was put in charge of Compass’ people and culture departments, along with marketing and “New Ventures.” Reffkin said he would oversee a  tech team, including product and engineering.

Gavet is the latest in a string of departures from Compass. Most recently, Jason Post, head of communications, said he was leaving. In June, three executives in marketing and product resigned or were forced to quit amid tension between Reffkin and Gavet. Chief people officer Madan Nagaldinne and general counsel David Carp have also left since February.

Compass was most recently valued at $6.4 billion after a $370 million Series G funding round in July. At the time, investors speculated that the round signaled the firm would be targeting an initial public offering. Reffkin fueled that speculation, saying on CNBC that: “Look, we’re likely going to have an IPO. But we’re fortunate, given our capital base, that we have flexibility in timing.”

Compass’ primary backer is Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which is also the main backer of WeWork, the shared-office space giant that is facing criticism from investors over its business practices and erratic behavior of its CEO, Adam Neumann. On Tuesday, WeWork announced that Neumann would step down.