Changes Today at Homeward
When I wrote to you a few months back with news of layoffs, I had thought and hoped it would be the first and last time I’d have to do that. But unfortunately, I’m writing that message again to let you know that today we will be parting ways with 25 percent of our Homeward team.
Over the last few months, things have continued to evolve beyond our initial expectations. While we’ve tried to adapt our business to avoid this situation, we ultimately need to adjust to the reality we're facing.
Today, there are three groups of impacted employees: layoffs, furloughs, and repositions. If you have been laid off, you will receive an email in your personal inbox within the next 30 minutes. It will have a 1:1 invite to walk you through the transition with a leader in your department and HR partner. Team members who will be furloughed or repositioned will receive an email in their Homeward inbox with an invite to discuss these changes.
This is an incredibly hard decision to make – and not one I take lightly by any means – but it is one that is necessary to ensure Homeward can weather the storms to come. I imagine this news may surprise some of you, so I want to provide context below on what led me to this decision.
I’m sure many of you are asking, “What’s changed since August?”
In August, we reduced staff to the volume we expected through the end of the year while extending our financial runway into the summer of 2024. Since then, two things have changed:
- Our outlook on the economy has worsened. We have a different contract outlook and need to extend the runway longer.
- Financial institutions that Homeward relies on to operate – like investors and capital markets – have tightened their requirements to obtain new funding.
Despite strong 2.5x year-over-year revenue growth at Homeward, the current reality is different from what we planned for back in August. And unfortunately, that means that we need to make significant adjustments to our organization today to account for them.
To those leaving today
I want to thank you profoundly for the time, energy, and heart that you’ve brought to this company. I know this transition period will be challenging for you, and we want to support you while searching for a new role.
- Severance: We’ll offer severance through the end of the year, plus additional payments based on tenure.
- Health Insurance: We’ll continue our employer contribution to health insurance premiums for 2 months.
- Equity: We’re removing the one-year cliff for all unvested employees and extending the exercise period from 90 days to one year for all vested stock options.
- Company Bonus: Impacted employees will still receive a prorated amount of their annual bonus.
- Outplacement Services: We’ll be removing our non-compete clause for most employees. Also, you can opt-in to be included on our list of impacted employees shared with external recruiting partners and on our LinkedIn.
Where do we go from here?
This is hard news to process – so first and foremost, please take the time you need. We’ll be offering a mental health day this Friday to hopefully help in that journey.
Homeward's future remains promising, but we — and many other companies — are entering a challenging time. But, I know that those who are prepared will succeed. Homeward is prepared, and I fully believe that we are positioned to emerge as the clear leader in our industry.
We have a strong cash position, and with the changes today, we have extended our runway into 2025. We have a strong and empathetic leadership group to guide the way, and a fantastic Homeward team that will get us there. We have plenty of opportunities to grow for many years, thanks to our growing agent relationships, innovative financial products and new markets.
We also have plenty of work to do, including nailing our near-term priorities. And while we have ground to make up after these changes today, we are committed to building alignment and trust internally with each of you. I look forward to sharing more about our plan at our All Hands later today.
I also know those still at Homeward have a choice about continuing to trust us and invest your time and skills with us. I want to deeply emphasize my confidence in this company and in each of you. As we look to the future, coming together as a team, focusing on our goals, and committing to the task at hand will undoubtedly position Homeward as the industry leader. But we can’t do that without each of you.
Since Homeward's inception, our vision has been to make home buying and selling more straightforward and accessible. I know today is extremely tough, but our mission remains unchanged.
If you are one of the employees leaving today, I’m truly sorry. Please know that your work mattered, and we are so grateful for everything you brought to the table each and every day.
To those staying, we have a bright future ahead of us at Homeward, and I’m excited to reach our goals together.