Mortgage

Another big shake-up at Walter Investment: Head of Ditech Financial departs unexpectedly

David Schneider leaves company amid effort to "flatten the organization"

Just two months ago, when Walter Investment Management Corp. named its fourth different CEO in less than a year, some questioned whether the company was in a state of upheaval.

Now, those questions seem prescient, as just two months into the tenure of Anthony Renzi, who took over for George Awad, who took over for Denmar Dixon, who took over for Mark O’Brien, Walter Investment and one of its most prominent subsidiaries are going through another executive shake-up.

Walter Investment announced Friday morning that David Schneider, who served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Walter Investment and as president of Ditech Financial, left the company earlier this week.

Walter Investment disclosed Schneider’s departure in a short filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that doesn’t provide a whole lot of detail as to why Schneider is leaving the company.

When Walter Investment merged two of its well-known subsidiaries last year, forming Ditech Financial by combining Green Tree Servicing and Ditech Mortgage Corp, the company said that Schneider would lead the company’s mortgage servicing business and Patricia Cook would lead the company’s originations business.

But that operational arrangement only lasted a few months, as Walter Investment announced in February that Cook would be leaving the company, placing Schneider in charge of Ditech’s servicing and origination businesses.

And now, just eight months later, Schneider is gone, too.

According to Walter Investment’s SEC filing, Schneider’s departure is “related to a broader plan to realign the company’s management structure.”

The 86-word filing is not exactly rife with details about how Ditech or Walter Investment will be run moving forward, but here’s what Walter Investment said about the changes in the SEC filing:

“The new structure is designed to flatten the organization, with the intent of making it leaner and more effective.”

HousingWire contacted Ditech and Walter Investment for clarification on the company’s structure going forward, and this article will be updated should either company respond.

For now, “leaders of certain key operating units” will now report directly to Renzi, Walter Investment said.

As stated above, Renzi is still new to all of this, having just joined Walter Investment in August after most recently serving as the chief operating officer, managing director and head of operations for Citi's North America retail bank, commercial bank and CitiMortgage.

At Citi, Renzi provided executive operations leadership for customer contact centers, core banking and mortgage operations, branch operations support, investor reporting/servicing accounting, default operations and servicing technology, Walter Investment said at the time.

Renzi brings more than 30 years of experience to Walter Investment. Earlier in his career, Renzi was the executive vice president of the single-family business, operations and technology at Freddie Mac and the chief operating officer of GMAC Residential Capital and served as president of GMAC Mortgage from 2001 to 2010.

Renzi took over for George Awad, who served as Walter Investment’s interim CEO after the departure of Denmar Dixon, who resigned in June after only eight months as the company’s CEO and vice chairman.

Dixon took on the role of CEO in October 2015 after Mark O’Brien, the company's former chairman and CEO, announced he was retiring.

For now, Renzi is apparently directly in charge of “certain key operating units,” whatever that means.

The company posted a big loss during the second quarter, reporting a GAAP net loss of $232.4 million, or $6.49 per share, for the second quarter.

Walter hasn’t posted yet when it will report its third-quarter earnings, but it posted last year’s third quarter earnings in November. So we should soon be getting a good look at how this latest shake-up is affecting the company.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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