Top executives to leave loanDepot amid business line consolidation

Lender has decided to consolidate LDI Digital, including mellohome, into its existing production channels

California-based loanDepot announced on Friday that four top executives hired during Anthony Hsieh‘s reign are departing the company, only two months after its founder was fired from an executive position amid a battle with the board of directors. The lender is also consolidating its business line in response to another financial loss in the first quarter of 2023

loanDepot CFO Patrick Flanagan, who joined the company in 2017, will be replaced by David Hayes, effective June 26. Hayes is leaving the executive, finance and treasurer role at Corelogic, where he worked with current loanDepot CEO Frank Martell. 

The company will provide Hayes a $500,000 base salary and an annual target bonus of 140% of base salary, per U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Hayes is also eligible for an annual equity award of $1.65 million and an initial stock option grant of 250,000 shares.

Chief Accounting Officer Nicole Carrillo, Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Tackaberry and LDI Digital President Zeenat Sidi are also departing loanDepot. 

Sidi joined loanDepot in March 2022, when the lender created a new business division called mello to operate side-by-side with the company’s mortgage origination and servicing division. The unit included the customer contact center, the mello DataMart and the performance marketing engine. Three adjacent businesses – mellohome Real Estate Services, melloinsurance, and mello title and escrow services – were also under Sidi.

However, the company has decided to consolidate LDI Digital, including mellohome, into its existing production channels, under the leadership of LDI mortgage president Jeff Walsh. 

In May, loanDepot also made changes to its leadership. Ted Zepfel, the senior vice president of national retail operations, left the company to join Pacific Rim Capital. And the company promoted Alec Hanson, its senior vice president of production for the West division, to chief marketing officer.  

The leadership shakeup follows the board’s decision to fire Hsieh from the executive chairman position in April after a battle to nominate Steve Ozonian as a member of the lender’s board of directors. However, Hsieh remains the chairman and largest shareholder. 

Martell said the changes are due to the advance of Vision 2025. The plan, announced in July 2022, includes components such as increasing focus on purchase transactions; rightsizing cost structure; and launching an all-digital home equity line of credit (HELOC), which the lender rolled out in Q4 2022.

According to Martell, loanDepot expects “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.”

However, loanDepot, like most of its peers, is struggling financially amid a shrinking mortgage market. 

In its latest Q1 2023 earnings, loanDepot posted a loss of $60.2 million in non-GAAP adjusted net income, an improvement in margins and revenue from the previous quarter. The company expects higher production and a further reduction in expenses to bring narrow losses in Q2 2023.

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