loanDepot Leadership Changes Post-Proxy Fight

Just months after a proxy fight that pitted loanDepot founder Anthony Hsieh against his Board of Directors, the company is announcing a series of leadership changes.

In a press release, loanDepot said the company is making “organizational changes expected to improve operational efficiency.” 

Former CoreLogic executive David Hates is joining the company as CFO, starting June 26, 2023. Current CFO Patrick Flanagan is “departing the company” with no further explanation.

In another major shift, LDI Digital, including mellohome, will be consolidated into the company’s existing production channels. Jeff Walsh, LDI Mortgage President, will oversee the transition, while President Zeenat Sidi is leaving loanDepot as a result of the change.

Chief Accounting Officer Nicole Carrillo and Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Tackabe will also be leaving.

These changes are billed as part of its Vision 2025 plan, which includes downsizing to combat rapidly changing market conditions.

“As we continue to advance our Vision 2025 plan, we expect to drive automation and operating leverage and invest in customer-facing tools and solutions, as well as implement operational and structural changes to optimize and streamline our business and position loanDepot for long-term growth and success,” President and CEO Frank Martell said.

“On behalf of the Board and the executive team, I want to express our gratitude to Pat for his leadership and commitment to loanDepot… Pat, along with Nicole, Kevin, and Zeenat have been valued colleagues, and we wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”

Earlier this year, loanDepot founder Anthony Hsieh was pushed out as executive chairman after sending a letter to stockholders announcing his nomination of Steve Ozonian, CEO of Williston Financial Group. He also voiced his intention to force the decision using his voting power as the company’s largest shareholder.

Hsieh cited an “urgent need for board refreshment” to combat dwindling mortgage demand as his reason for wanting Ozonian on the board.

Like most lenders, loanDepot has struggled to stay afloat as the housing market corrects. The company has enacted a plan to cut $400 million in costs, and more than 5,000 employees lost their jobs last year through layoffs and attrition.

The resulting proxy fight led to a press release back-and-forth between Hsieh and the Board. It was resolved in April when loanDepot announced that the parties had reached a settlement. The Board temporarily increased its size from eight members to nine, allowed Steve Ozonian to join immediately, and made him a candidate for election at the company’s 2023 meeting.

Hsieh served as head of loanDepot until he named Frank Martell President and CEO last year. Both Hsieh and Martell were recently recognized as 2023 “power players” by Inman.