San Francisco-based property portal Trulia, announced back in May of last year that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Market Leader, Inc.. With the new acquisition, Trulia said that its goal to be able to offer an unprecedented, end-to-end marketing solution for real estate professionals, and at the time, Trulia CEO Pete Flint stated, "We are very excited that the deal is official and we can now provide the real estate industry with the finest marketing and software tools, all under one roof." Now it seems that Trulia's roof is not quite large enough for everyone.
Trulia will be laying off approximately 85 employees from its Bellevue office in a move to consolidate its operations, following its $355 million acquisition of Market Leader last year.
The vast majority of those employees laid off worked in general and administrative roles such as finance and human resources, and held roles that overlapped with Trulia employees. As a part of the move, the Market Leader and Trulia teams will now be operating under a single Trulia banner, rather than as two separate entities.
In addition to the layoffs, Market Leader’s top level executives – President Ian Morris, Chief Financial Officer Jackie Davidson, Chief Technology Officer Alex Lange and Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Daniels – will be leaving the company later this year. All of them will remain at Trulia full-time for the next 90 days, and then transition into advisory roles. Morris will remain as an advisor to the company through 2015, while Davidson, Lange and Daniels will serve as advisors through 2014.
The company just disclosed the move in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a letter to Trulia staffers obtained by GeekWire, CEO Pete Flint emphasized that the company is continuing to grow, and will continue to hire new talent for its new 70,000 square foot office in Bellevue.
“Going forward, we will continue to invest in the new Trulia Center in Bellevue, WA to build on its success as an engineering and product development hub, as well as a marketing, sales and service center,” he wrote. “As Bellevue-based teams work even more closely with San Francisco, Denver and NYC, Trulia Center will be a magnet for Pacific Northwest top marketing, sales and engineering talent.”
Following the layoffs, Trulia will still have more than 400 employees in Bellevue, which is a larger workforce than when the company acquired Market Leader in August. All of Market Leader’s products will live on through the consolidation, so users won’t see an interruption in their existing services.
Today’s news comes after a record quarter for Trulia’s sales of its agent services products. The company added 7,000 subscribers to those products in the first quarter of 2014.
The full text of Flint’s letter to Trulia employees is reproduced below:
I have news to share that I believe will greatly strengthen our company. For the past year, our Trulia and Market Leader teams have been working together closely to enhance our market-leading product offerings. As a result of this work, we have decided that the time is right to take the next step and fully integrate our two companies to create one unified Trulia team.
We’re taking this step because the growth opportunities we saw at the time of the acquisition are clearer than ever. So today, we are aligning our teams to make that Trulia one, unified organization optimized to create one set of product offerings. Our more nimble team will bring new products and services to market even faster, delighting customers and boosting our growth in 2015 and beyond.
Agents, brokers and franchisors agree that our combined companies provide the most complete end-to-end offering – as shown by our record Q1 results, including the addition of more than 7,000 subscribers. Combining operations will enable us to more effectively execute on the tremendous opportunity ahead.
Even as these changes strengthen our market position, we recognize that our decision to fully integrate our operations will have a significant impact on some of our employees. Earlier today we implemented a reduction in force to eliminate overlaps and streamline our combined organization.
We didn’t undertake such a step lightly. We also are taking extra steps to ensure transitions are as smooth as possible for all impacted employees. So I want to thank all of those affected by these actions for their outstanding work and ongoing support through this transition. I also want to thank Ian Morris, Jackie Davidson, Sarah Daniels and Alex Lange – each of whom will be transitioning out of their roles at Market Leader later this year.
Going forward, we will continue to invest in the new Trulia Center in Bellevue, WA to build on its success as an engineering and product development hub, as well as a marketing, sales and service center. As Bellevue-based teams work even more closely with San Francisco, Denver and NYC, Trulia Center will be a magnet for Pacific Northwest top marketing, sales and engineering talent.
Looking forward, I am confident that unifying Trulia and Market Leader will result in an even stronger organization that will benefit all our customers, employees and shareholders.