Spencer Rascoff is the current CEO of Zillow Group. He was one of the people who contributed to its start-up in 2005, with the result that he has occupied a number of roles over the course of his time with Zillow Group. Given the prominence of Zillow Group in its chosen market, it should come as no surprise to learn that Rascoff possesses an enormous amount of influence.
Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Spencer Rascoff:
Started Out in Finance
Before he became involved in his current field, Rascoff started out in finance. To be exact, he started out as a private equity investor at TPG Capital before moving on to become an investment banker with a number of companies operating in said field. Suffice to say that Rascoff’s experiences in finance have provided him with much of the expertise and experience that he has since put to use as an executive at Zillow Group, while exerting influence in other ways as well.
Became Vice President of Lodging for Expedia
It is interesting to note that between being an investment banker and signing up with Zillow Group, Rascoff served as the vice president of lodging at Expedia, which remains one of the better-known travel booking websites out there.
Furthermore, Rascoff was one of the co-founders of Hotwire.com, which was an Internet travel company. For a time, he ran Hotwire.com, but in the end, he sold it to InterActiveCorp, which is Expedia’s parent company.
Has Led His Companies through Crises
So far, Rascoff has led his companies through some serious crises. For example, he led Hotwire.com through the aftermath of 9/11, which caused a massive fall in the number of people who chose to travel for a time. Furthermore, he led Zillow through the housing crisis, which had an enormous impact on the housing market for the worse.
On Board of Directors for Hutch
Besides being the current CEO of Zillow Group, Rascoff is serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Hutch, which is a home design app that lets people do some virtual redecorating of their home through the use of style filters for photos.
On Board of Directors for TripAdvisor
Likewise, Rascoff serves as a member of the Board of Directors for TripAdvisor, which runs a website that hosts hotel and restaurant reviews while providing booking and other travel-related services. It is interesting to note that TripAdvisor used to be part of InterActiveGroup, but has since been spun out not once but twice, meaning that there is no longer a relationship between them.
Co-wrote Bestselling Book
In 2015, Rascoff released a book called Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate, which went on to become a New York Times Best Seller. For those who are curious, the book sees its authors making use of housing data to answer some common real estate questions, thus making it useful for buyers, sellers, and renters.
Host of Office Hours
Speaking of which, Rascoff is also the host of Office Hours, which is a podcast that runs once a month. Said podcast features conversations between well-known executives, who offer interesting insight into a wide range of management topics.
One of Rascoff’s skills happens to be storytelling. It is interesting to note that Rascoff has used said skill to instill the employees of Zillow Group with a shared culture, which is rather important considering that the company has made 13 acquisitions within the relatively short period of no more than 6 years. As a result, it could be said that Rascoff’s storytelling has played an important role in integrating these acquisitions by making sure that the new people understand Zillow Group’s story.
Believes in Working Smart, Not Working Longer
Interestingly, one of the ways that Rascoff’s experience with finance has inspired him is his belief in working smarter rather than working longer, which can be attributed to his experience with what can be called a 24/7 work culture at Goldman Sachs. Simply put, Rascoff doesn’t see much value in this kind of work culture because he believes that no one likes working this way, meaning that it won’t enable people to provide exceptional performance.