Mark Willis named Keller Williams CEO 

Former CEO returns as company deals with mounting lawsuits

Mark Willis Returns as Keller Williams CEO
Keller Williams' Gary Keller and Mark Willis (Keller Williams, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Getty)

A familiar face is back in charge of Keller Williams, which is grappling with mounting legal challenges and a sluggish real estate market.

Mark Willis, who served as president of the Austin-based brokerage giant from 2002 to 2005 and as CEO from 2005 to 2015, has again been named CEO of the company. The leadership change is effective immediately.

Willis initially rejoined Keller Williams as a strategic consultant in July. His other prior roles with the company include  regional director, operating principal and region investor.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding the real estate industry today, it’s never been more important to have a leader who thoroughly knows us and understands business at the highest level,” said Keller Williams co-founder and executive chairman John Keller. “That’s Mark Willis.”

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Willis is taking over at a tumultuous time for the company. Keller Williams, the National Association of Realtors and HomeServices of America, were recently found liable for colluding on commission rates in the landmark Sitzer/Burnett trial. The firms were ordered to pay nearly $1.8 billion in damages.

More recently, Keller Williams and more than two dozen Texas Realtor associations and brokerages were sued by a Texas-based homebuilder and holding company. The lawsuit, drawing similarities to the Sitzer/Burnett case, challenges the practice of sellers’ agents offering compensation to buyers’ agents in exchange for listing properties on multiple listing services. The lawsuit alleges they’re violating antitrust laws and leading a “concealed conspiracy” involving the National Association of Realtors, Anywhere franchisees and RE/MAX.

In addition, KW is facing a racketeering lawsuit from former CEO John Davis, who has accused the brokerage of fraud and financial abuse on the part of Gary Keller and former KW President Josh Team. 

Meanwhile, Davis has been entangled with allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and abuse. 

Read more

Former Keller Williams CEO John Davis Sues Brokerage Again
Former Keller Williams CEO John Davis sues brokerage again
Keller Williams Franchisee Dismisses Misconduct Claims
Keller Williams franchisee dismisses most misconduct claims 
Jury Finds NAR, Brokerages Guilty in Sitzer Commissions Suit
Jury finds NAR, brokerages guilty in landmark commissions suit
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