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Homie CEO steps down amid employee layoffs

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Johnny Hanna, CEO and co-founder of Homie, shows solar lights that come with Homie real estate signs at the company’s headquarters in Draper in 2017. During the Silicon Slopes Summit last Friday Hanna announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of the company.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Johnny Hanna of Utah-based real estate company Homie announced during the Silicon Slopes Summit last Friday that he would be stepping down as CEO of the company.

His announcement to step down followed a week in which 40 employees at Homie were laid off, according to a statement from the company.

"As the real estate market continues to shift, Homie was forced to evaluate the current business structure and let go 40 team members last week," the statement said.

Joe Grover, former chief marketing officer and current adviser for Homie, said the layoffs are "in between 15 and 20" percent of Homie's workforce.

In February, Homie announced that it would be laying off 119 employees, reducing its workforce by some 28% amid unprecedented conditions for homebuyers and sellers in Utah and around the country.

As of Monday, Mike Peregrina, who co-founded Homie with Hanna and currently serves as the company's president, will be the new CEO of the company.

"Although the (real estate) market is going through a cycle, I'm excited to step into the CEO role at Homie. We have an incredibly talented and committed team. I'm looking forward to continuing my work with Johnny as chairman in our mission to bring equity and change to real estate," Peregrina told KSL.com Tuesday.

Grover said Peregrina and Hanna worked closely together in the day-to-day operations of the company and he expects the transition to be "pretty seamless from a management standpoint."

"They've always worked together as a team — kind of two in a box — working, you know, to operate the business and manage all aspects," Grover said. "Mike is in a great position to lead the company. ... Right now is a difficult time in real estate and as we really look at efficiency and driving the business all the way to profitability, it makes sense to have a more, kind of, focused and nimble executive team."

Grover noted that Homie is still operating in all five of the markets — Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah — that it was prior to the leadership change.

"We're still the largest listing broker in the state of Utah and we continue to operate here," Grover said.

Hanna will continue serving as the chairman of Homie's board of directors, which still constitutes a "pretty active role in moving the company forward," Grover noted.