Although the deal was officially inked late last year, it’s only now that the mystery buyer behind a $43 million home sale in prime Orange County has been revealed to be William “Bill” McDermott, the high-flying and longtime technology executive who is one of the United States’ highest-paid CEOs, according to the Wall Street Journal.
McDermott earned north of $165 million in 2021 alone, an amount mostly comprised of stock awards and options. That was enough to make the ServiceNow chief the third-highest-paid CEO of an S&P 500 company. (For comparison’s sake, McDermott’s pay package was worth nearly double those of Apple CEO Tim Cook and JPMorgan top dog Jamie Dimon.)
With his wife Julie, McDermott primarily resides near ServiceNow’s California headquarters, in the Silicon Valley town of Atherton, where he’s bought and sold several homes in the last few years. But the couple have long kept a seaside vacation residence of some sort — from 2012-2018, they owned a lavish estate on Florida’s Jupiter Island that was previously the home of country singer Alan Jackson.
The Laguna Beach mansion is set within the guard-gated Irvine Cove community, an exclusive seaside enclave where other residents include billionaire Sue Gross, L.A. Fitness founder Chin Yol Yi, actor/producer Jon Favreau and “Cheers” creator James Burrows. Per the listing, McDermott’s new residence is one of only five oceanfront properties in the neighborhood, and its location behind a long and gated driveway, at the end of a cul-de-sac, makes it the most private of the five.
Last sold way back in 2005 for $29 million, the house was last owned by retired subprime mortgage exec Bob Cole, who had been attempting to sell it since 2014. Over the last eight years, the estate bounced on and off the market, initially asking as much as $55 million, though the price sunk to a low of $41 million before rebounding to $45 million just before McDermott finally came calling.
The 1990s-built, Mediterranean villa-style mansion stands several stories tall and includes a bevy of luxury amenities: an open kitchen with a granite-topped island and premium appliances, al fresco dining patios, sumptuous living and family rooms equipped with fireplaces, six ensuite bedrooms and a wood-paneled library, plus bespoke finishes that include imported limestone floors, artisanal bronze and delicately crafted millwork. But the property’s best attribute is undoubtedly its location right on sandy Irvine Cove beach, with dazzling sunset views that dance over the aquamarine sea.
A Long Island native, McDermott became a business legend for his 2010-2019 tenure as CEO of German software company SAP, during which time the company’s market cap more than tripled. In late 2019, he left SAP to become CEO of the American firm ServiceNow, an $80 billion cloud computing giant based in Santa Clara, Calif.
And in an interesting coincidence — or maybe it’s not — McDermott’s new Orange County palace happens to sit almost directly next door to an even larger mansion long owned by German billionaire Hasso Plattner, a co-founder of SAP.