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The boss of the controversial Sonder firm, who was granted a $30 million loan from Quebec, has just bought a sumptuous $9.2 million US home in California.
While many Montrealers are struggling to find affordable housing, Quebec-born Francis Davidson, CEO of the Sonder company, offered himself the spectacular architect-designed house of rapper Pharrell Wiliams in Los Angeles in early 2022, according to reports. US media.
Davidson's company has already been denounced by the Regroupement des Comités Logements et Associations de Tenants du Québec (RCLALQ) as contributing to the housing crisis in the metropolis.
- Listen to Richard Martineau's interview with Jean-François Cloutier, journalist at the Quebecor Bureau of Investigation, on QUB radio :
We revealed this week that the Airbnb-like short-term rental company manages 389 units in Montreal.
It offers dozens of apartments on Airbnb in the Sud-Ouest, Ville-Marie and Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, where the housing crisis is pronounced.
Yesterday, the three opposition parties tabled a motion to withdraw the loan from Sonder. The Legault government, however, did not act on it.
“The Skyline Residence is a hilltop sanctuary nestled on a picturesque 1.5 acre lot […] built by the 'renowned architect Hagy Belzberg,' reads a description of the property Davidson acquired on the Zillow site.
The property, located in the Mecca of cinema, in Hollywood Hills, notably offers an outdoor cinema allowing projections on a wall of the house.
The house offers a 70-foot infinity pool, according to the site. It has an outdoor cinema, a spa, a skate park and multiple outdoor relaxation areas. The master bedroom is made 'for a king', as the description says, including a ten-foot video wall and an onyx stone bath.
Sonder's 29-year-old big boss also received compensation totaling US$3.3 million last year, according to a Sonder financial filing dated April 20.
His salary doubled in one year, from US$180,493 to US$360,000. He also received stock options worth US$2.9 million.
Furthermore , the company yesterday announced layoffs representing 21% of corporate positions and 7% of front-line positions.
“As part of this restructuring, our company announced the layoff of approximately 250 employees, including around 40 in Montreal, including several positions in our call center,” Fiona Story, spokesperson for Sonder, told us by email at the start of the evening.
The Sonder shares, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, lost 8.7% yesterday, down 82% since January.
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