RE/MAX Co-Founder Dave Liniger Hands over Reins to Co-CEO Adam Cantos

RE/MAX board of directors announced last week that their co-founder and co-chief executive officer Dave Liniger has stepped down from his position, allowing Adam Contos to be the sole CEO of the Denver-based real estate giant franchise company. Liniger will now become a non-executive chairman of the RE/MAX Holdings Board.

The transition comes following reports last November that a special committee of independent directors had been appointed by the RE/MAX board to investigate the actions of certain members of the company's senior management. That caused the board to announce it was "indefinitely withholding its third quarter earnings results due to an internal investigation regarding an undisclosed $2.38 million loan CEO Liniger provided to his then co-CEO Adam Contos, as well as other claims of wrongdoing in employment practices and conduct. The November 2, 2017 SEC filing newswire also stated, "These matters could constitute violations of the Company's codes of ethics and business conduct and policies."

Adam Contos, who joined the company in 2004 in its mountain state region, became the co-CEO with Liniger last May, with the hint that Contos' position would be part of an eventual CEO transition. Dave Liniger, who founded the company in 1973 with his wife Gail, lead RE/MAX in what became a global franchisor of real estate brokerages 44 years ago, according to a Denver Post report. Bringing Contos in allowed Liniger to focus on "strategic initiatives" and furthering the company's leadership position in the real estate industry. With Contos' experience at RE/MAX, first as vice president of region development in 2013, senior vice president of marketing in 2015, and then as chief operating officer in 2016, the real estate brokerage arm with 110,000 agents worldwide and Motto Franchising, LLC, which the company describes as "a fast-growing network of mortgage brokerages," he was well-positioned to step in as the sole CEO.

In RE/MAX (NYSE:RMAX) announcing the management change, Contos said, "I am honored to lead RE/MAX Holdings at this important time in our history. As we head into this next chapter, I am excited about the prospects for continuing our successful momentum, driven by our outstanding business model, brand strength, competitive advantages, and the most dynamic brokers and agents in the industry."

Dave Liniger, after 45 years of running his 115,000-agent real estate company, said, "We are number one in the world and I'm confident that under Adam's leadership, RE/MAX Holdings will continue to thrive and reach even greater heights through his unwavering dedication and commitment to this great company, our brands and our networks."


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Janet Sparks