John Peyton was out for a walk with his wife, Allison, and their two dogs when a newly familiar phone number popped up on his phone. It was Alex Perriello, CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group (RFG), congratulating him on the good news. Peyton had just been chosen as president and chief operating officer of RFG, the franchise arm of Fortune 500 Realogy. A little more than six months after coming on board in October 2016, Peyton succeeded Perriello as CEO when the latter became RFG’s chairman emeritus in April 2017.
Peyton seemingly comes from the leadership central casting office. He is an affable franchise veteran with senior marketing and operations experience at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the franchisor of iconic brands Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien and Sheraton, among others.
“The interview process was daunting, but right away I could tell it was a good fit,” says Peyton. “I had been in an industry where brands were front and center, and was looking for another position where branding would also play a central role. The Realogy Franchise Group is clearly it. You can’t drive down a street without seeing a yard sign for one of our brands. And I was enamored with Alex. Our initial discussion, which was scheduled for one hour, went three hours.”
Peyton now leads the Realogy Franchise Group portfolio of brands, which includes Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, ERA® and Sotheby’s International Realty®.
“John has brought a fresh perspective to our company from his tenure as a global branding leader in the hospitality industry, and I am confident in his ability to continue leveraging his valuable insight on behalf of our leading real estate brands,” says Richard A. Smith, chairman, CEO and president of Realogy Holdings Corp. “He is the right business leader to focus our efforts and execute our plans for continued strategic growth and innovation at the Realogy Franchise Group.”
Peyton arrived at Realogy’s global headquarters in Madison, N.J., in October and began “drinking from a firehose,” with an immersion in Realogy operations and its brands, the state of the real estate industry, refining the short- and long-term strategic plans for the Realogy Franchise Group and, most importantly, meeting as many people as possible.
“Alex is truly one of the real estate industry’s legends, and he has been incredible in guiding me to this point,” Peyton says. “In every meeting and experience I have shared with him, I see why he has been so successful. His presence commands a room, his knowledge is incredible and his passion for people is even greater. I am so fortunate that he will continue to be there for me in an advisory capacity.”
Management by Design
Peyton grew up in Villanova, Pa., a suburb along Philadelphia’