PHH shakes up senior leadership, CEO Glen Messina departing

Chief Financial Officer Robert Crowl tabbed as replacement

Over the last few years, it’s been a two-pronged battle for PHH Corp.

On one side, the company is locked in a legal war with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that could shake the very foundation of the government’s consumer watchdog.

On the other side, PHH’s business has undergone dramatic shifts, beginning back in 2014, when the company sold off its fleet business in an attempt to focus on the company’s struggling mortgage performance.

And in just the last year, the company has seen seismic shifts in its mortgage business, with partners like Bank of America and HSBC pulling massive mortgage servicing rights portfolios away from the company.

The company also sold off its entire mortgage servicing rights portfolio late last year.

The company has also shifted its mortgage origination focus significantly, exiting private-label originations and ending its joint mortgage venture with Realogy Holdings Corp.

One of the few constants during this time of transition has been the company’s CEO, Glen Messina.

But that’s not the case anymore, as the company announced this week that Messina is stepping down as CEO and president and will be replaced by Robert Crowl, who has served as the company’s chief financial officer since 2012.

Messina’s departure is part of series of leadership changes announced by the company this week. In a release, the company said that the changes are “part of its previously announced plan to reduce costs as the company expects to become smaller in size and scope resulting from its recently announced and ongoing strategic transactions.”

As part of the changes, Crowl is being immediately moved from CFO to chief operating officer. Then, on June 28, 2017, the date of the PHH’s 2017 annual meeting, Crowl will assume the role of president and chief executive Officer of PHH Corp. and PHH Mortgage, and will stand for election to the board of directors.

At that time, Messina will step down as president and chief executive officer and not stand for re-election as a director on the company’s board.

Michael Bogansky, who previously served as senior vice president, controller, has been appointed chief financial officer to replace Crowl.

James Egan, non-executive chairman of the board of PHH, thanked Messina for his stewardship of the company through the time of transition.

“Glen has led PHH with vision, decisiveness and integrity through one of the most turbulent periods in the mortgage industry in decades, overseeing a dramatic strategic transformation of the company that included the sale of the fleet business, implementing capital strategy initiatives to reduce unsecured debt levels and return capital to shareholders, re-engineering our cost structure, enhancing our risk and compliance programs, and implementing the strategic review to maximize the value of our mortgage business,” Egan said.

“On behalf of the board and the entire PHH team, I would like to thank Glen for his significant contributions and accomplishments over the course of his five-year tenure with the company,” Egan added.

Of Crowl, Egan said that the board is confident in his ability to lead the company.

“Rob has been an invaluable partner to Glen and the board in executing our transformation and we are fortunate to have an executive of his caliber available to step into the CEO and director roles,” Egan said of Crowl.

But those aren’t the only changes for PHH.

The company also announced the following changes to its executive structure, details via the company’s release:

  • Kate Williamson, who currently serves as senior vice president, human resources, will assume the role of senior vice president and chief human resources officer, effective June 30, 2017, succeeding Kathryn Ruggieri, who is leaving the company upon the effective date
  • Ian Hill, who currently serves as vice president, information technology enterprise services, will assume the role of senior vice president and chief information officer, effective June 30, 2017, succeeding Gabriel Minton, who is leaving the company upon the effective date
  • William Brown, senior vice president and general counsel, Leith Kaplan, chief risk and compliance officer, and Richard Bradfield, senior vice president, financial institutions group, are expected to remain with PHH until the end of the year to support the continued execution of the company’s strategic actions

“Mike, Kate and Ian have been key players in our transformation and are well qualified to assume their new roles,” Egan said.

“Kathryn and Gabe have made significant contributions to the company over the years and on behalf of the board and the entire PHH team, I would like to thank them for their dedication and service to PHH,” Egan added. “I would also like to thank Bill, Lee and Rich for their many contributions to PHH and their continuing support of our strategic actions for the remainder of the year.”

The company added that at the “appropriate” time, it will announce additional leadership changes “as necessary.”

According to the company’s release, the management changes are expected to result in at least $5 million in savings on an annualized basis.

The company also said the changes are “consistent with the company’s previously announced plan to reduce total shared services expenses to approximately $75 million in the second half of 2018.”

Going forward, the company said that it “remains focused on maximizing the return of cash to shareholders by closing signed asset sales transactions as quickly as possible, controlling business investments and expenses, resolving legacy regulatory uncertainties, prudently winding down its private label business, and maintaining flexibility for future strategic actions.”

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