The board of directors of the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) voted in a special meeting Wednesday to terminate its CEO after less than three months in office.
Shane Johnson, who was hired in May following a nationwide search that began in 2017, stepped into the role of CEO June 18. He was among 75 potential candidates identified by a search firm. A SABOR CEO search committee interviewed eight candidates, and the decision came down to two finalists, one of whom was Johnson.
It became evident over the past two months that Johnson and the organization had different visions for the real estate advocacy organization’s future and mission, a statement from SABOR said. The decision to terminate Johnson was made by a majority vote by the board and announced Thursday.
SABOR Board Chairwoman Lorena Peña said she could not elaborate on the decision as it was a personnel matter.
“I do think it was a difference in vision for the board and something the board of directors really felt we needed to act swiftly on so there would be minimum disruptions to our members and the community and everything we have going,” Peña said.
She added that the board is currently negotiating with the second finalist but would not identify the individual. “We’ll be super excited to hopefully announce that sooner versus later,” Peña said. “So hopefully we can keep moving forward to private property rights and homeowners matters and continuing the other initiatives we have going.”
One longtime local realtor who knew of the termination said on Friday the “philosophies didn’t mesh, but I don’t know the specifics.”
Johnson previouly served as chief operating officer of Cape Fear Realtors in North Carolina. In May, the president of that association is quoted in a news report as saying, “As a direct result of his leadership in both advocacy and community engagement, we received the National Community Outreach Award last year from the National Association of Realtors.” Johnson is also the former CEO of the Quad City Area Association of Realtors in Iowa.
From 2004-05, Johnson served as deputy chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), according to his LinkedIn page, and prior to that, he was CEO of the St. Charles County Association of Realtors in St. Charles, Missouri, for three years. His position at SABOR is not listed.
On Twitter, Johnson describes himself with: “Christ 1st. Wife 2nd. Adventurist 3rd: 21 countries, 40-horse hitch driver, White House staffer, lumberjack, Grand Canyon kayaker, lawyer, author, and pilot.”
The Rivard Report was unable to reach Johnson for comment.
Peña was named board chair in 2017 following turmoil at SABOR that saw Chairwoman Michele Bunting Ross ousted by the board after only three months in the role. “This matter and that matter do not correlate,” Peña said.
San Antonio is currently hosting the annual Texas Realtors Conference which has convened 2,000 realtors from across the state at the Henry B. González Convention Center for four days of meetings. The 11,000-member SABOR is one of numerous sponsors of the conference.