Irvine-based loanDepot Inc. (NYSE: LDI), one of the nation’s largest mortgage originators, named a new board member to settle a dispute with founder and chairman Anthony Hsieh.
Hsieh ally Steven Ozonian will join the board immediately. Ozonian, along with current directors Andrew Dodson and Pamela Hughes Patenaude, will be nominated for election to three-year terms at the 2023 annual meeting.
At the 2024 annual meeting, the company will nominate only Hsieh and Brian Golson and the board will be reduced from nine to eight directors.
“The addition of Steve to the board will bring a new and valuable perspective that will help loanDepot navigate the extraordinary challenges facing the mortgage industry,” Hsieh said in a statement issued April 4.
The dispute erupted publicly in February when Hsieh threatened a proxy battle because he said the board might not approve Ozonian as a director. Hsieh has praised Ozonian for his “significant and relevant operating experience” in the real estate industry.
The past year’s rise in interest rates by the Federal Reserve has decimated revenue at the lender, which reported sales fell 65% to $1.3 billion in 2022. Analysts predict sales will fall another 25% this year to $908 million.