Doug Curry Out As Xceligent CEO
Frank Anton, formerly CEO of construction industry media company Hanley Wood, will take over as executive chairman of Xceligent, and Chief Operating Officer Jody Vanarsdale will become the interim CEO. The company confirmed the personnel change in a press release Tuesday evening.
Curry’s exit comes one day after Xceligent suffered a major setback in its ongoing legal battle with CoStar, the $9B D.C.-based property data giant, when a Pennsylvania judge ruled in CoStar's favor in a lawsuit against one of Xceligent's contractors, RE BackOffice.
RE BackOffice revealed in a filing Friday that Xceligent directed it to hack CoStar’s website and copy its content. The contractor specifically named Curry as being involved in directing the online data theft, and agreed to pay CoStar all profits it received from Xceligent.
When reached by text message Tuesday afternoon, Curry declined to comment. Curry's wife, Erin Curry, has also left the company after serving as chief people officer.
The primary legal battle is taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, where CoStar sued Xceligent in December, alleging Curry’s Missouri-based company had stolen and resold thousands of its property listings and images. Xceligent responded in June with an antitrust countersuit, arguing CoStar has engaged in monopolistic practices to maintain its perch atop the industry.
The Pennsylvania ruling forces RE BackOffice to pay damages to CoStar and sets a permanent injunction preventing the contractor from copying CoStar's content. CoStar had previously subpoenaed the contractor in the Missouri case, meaning the revelations will likely have an impact on the outcome of the original lawsuit.
Curry previously told Bisnow he believed the legal battle would determine not only the fate of the company he founded, but also the future of how commercial property data is shared.
Before launching Xceligent, Curry owned a company in Kansas City that engineered an efficient way to write real estate appraisals. When he began to shift from the residential to the commercial sector, he realized no centralized platform existed for viewing commercial property information.
When CoStar acquired Xceligent’s majority owner, property listing website LoopNet, in 2012, the Federal Trade Commission forced it to sell Curry’s company to allow for competition in the marketplace. London-based Daily Mail and General Trust acquired Xceligent and began investing heavily in a nationwide expansion.
Xceligent entered the nation’s largest market, New York City, in June. It also plans to open in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. It remains unclear how Curry’s exit will affect the expansion plans.