Rich Barton is the Co-founder and CEO of Zillow. Barton co-founded Zillow in 2005 and served as CEO until 2010, when he became the company’s executive chairman. He returned as CEO in early 2019. A longstanding principle that Barton has come to be known for is his desire to disrupt established industries – first, the travel industry as the founder of Expedia, and now the real estate industry with Zillow.
Upon co-founding Zillow, Barton’s strategy was to revolutionize real estate through technology by popularizing e-commerce as a way of making the home buying process simpler and less intimidating for consumers. By utilizing a robust database of price-related information, Zillow effectively created a new digital marketplace that has reshaped the way people shop for homes.
After stepping away as Zillow’s CEO in 2010, Barton returned to the position in 2019 shortly after Zillow joined the iBuying market with the launch of Zillow Offers, an algorithm-based service that utilized the platform’s pricing estimates to buy users’ homes, repair them and resell them for a profit. After three years, unpredictability of home pricing forced Barton and Zillow to reverse course and exit the iBuying business.