For the second time this month, Zillow has poached a leading executive from rival Move Inc. Zillow announced today that it has hired Curt Beardsley as vice president of industry development, responsible for bolstering relations with multiple listing services across the country. He most recently held that role at Move, which operates the Realtor.com Web site.
The hiring of Beardsley follows the appointment earlier this month of Errol Samuelson, who previously served as chairman of Move.
Move was not happy about that hire, and the company today issued a statement saying that it was suing both Zillow and Samuelson in King County Superior Court for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets among others actions.
“At Move, we take our trade secrets and intellectual property extremely seriously as a valuable asset in our competitive position in the marketplace,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, in a statement. “We take action in cases in which we believe our trade secrets have been compromised. We have raised this matter for the courts and believe that the matter will be resolved judiciously.”
Joining the suit are The National Association of REALTORS and its subsidiary Realtors Information Network.
Interestingly, Beardsley was the person that Move just promoted earlier this month to help fill Samuelson’s shoes.
“I’m delighted to be giving Curt the recognition he so richly deserves,” Move CEO Berkowitz said in a press release on March 5. “This is a formal acknowledgement of his day to day stewardship of the industry relationships that are central to our success.”
In a press release today, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said they are excited to tap into Beardsley’s experience in the real estate sector.
“We’re committed to building valuable products and services for our industry partners and Curt’s deep background with real estate technology and building partnerships is another great addition to our growing team,” Rascoff said.
Zillow declined to comment on the litigation.
Update: Here’s a copy of the Move lawsuit …