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Compass sheds 375 workers

Compass CEO Robert Refkin has stopped taking a paycheck after the venture capital-backed real estate firm laid off 375 workers.

In a company-wide letter issued on Thursday, Refkin said, “By making some hard decisions today, our company’s future is secure. We are well positioned to not just survive but thrive as the economy rebounds.”

ROBERT REFKIN

While no New York City workers were let go, Compass said it is slashing costs by scaling back its pre-sale service Compass Concierge by 80 percent, shifting all services to virtual delivery, pausing corporate marketing spend, reducing corporate expenses and office costs and halting all non-essential projects. The firm’s executive team has also taken a 25 percent pay cut.
Some 15 percent of employees were let go with “enhanced severance and COBRA health insurance.”

Refkin said axed staff could keep their laptops and would get “tools, training and personal networking” to help them land their next opportunity.”

Noting that Compass hoped to rehire many of the workers after the crisis, Refkin added, “Amidst this global pandemic, we need to make proactive decisions with the level of caution and foresight that this unpredictable period requires. As we continue to hope for the best, we need to prepare for the worst.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I believe that in 100 days the real estate market will bounce back and our customers, company and country will be climbing its way out of a recession.”

Since its founding in 2012, Compass has raised $1.5 billion from investors including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and SoftBank.

Valued at $4.4 billion, it has 12,000 agents across the US and 2,500 employees.

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