lays off more than 100 workers

Move comes amid executive shake-up at News Corp. real-estate arm

News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, iStock)
News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, iStock)

An executive team shakeup plus the coronavirus equals laying off more than 100 of its 1,400 employees.

A source close to the real estate listings portal confirmed layoffs Tuesday in all offices and departments of the Santa Clara, California-headquartered outfit, which is operated by Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp. subsidiary Move. Inc.

The source did not disclose the precise number of layoffs at the company, which has offices in Los Angeles and New York City among other locations.

The pink slips follow layoffs in all corners of the residential real estate industry including competitor Redfin, ibuyer OpenDoor, and brokerages Compass, Douglas Elliman and the Corcoran Group.

Inman first reported the layoffs earlier Tuesday, after the news site obtained an internal company memo David Doctorow, chief executive of Move, emailed to employees Tuesday.

Doctorow, who joined Move in February after an executive stint at eBay, wrote he is “streamlining” the company “with an eye towards simplification, clear and greater accountability, and faster decision-making and execution.”

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This includes not just layoffs, the CEO noted, but revamping company leadership including Michael Lam being named to the newly created chief operating officer position on April 22.

Changes were afoot once Doctorow came on board, the source said, which was weeks before the coronavirus threw the U.S. economy into chaos.

Founded in 1995, has a claim to fame as the first website with online listings available to the general public. Morgan Stanley valued the company at $2.5 billion in 2016, and the listings website has garnered praise in the ad world for commercial spots featuring actress Elizabeth Banks.

But hit significant roadblocks in March including cutting bills agents must pay to post listings on their website. The company also weathered “major reductions to our hiring, travel, and marketing expenses on March 31 and enacted those immediately,” according to Doctorow’s letter. competitor Zillow Group announced in March that it would also be slashing expenses.

Next steps for are unclear. “We are moving forward quickly with an update on strategy, priorities, and workstreams for the company that I will share at our all hands later this month,” Doctorow wrote.