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DALLAS-One of Dallas’ favorite sons has pulled another surprise: he’s laid himself off.

In true J. Reagan Dixon fashion, the well-liked real estate figure has decided that his job is the next cost-cutting move at Dallas’ Cawley Wilcox Cos. In February 2001, Dixon surprised the town by exiting the top job at Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. and joining his long-time friends at Cawley Wilcox as COO. Now, he says the firm doesn’t need him.

Dixon tells GlobeSt.com that it took some convincing on his part, but Bill Cawley reluctantly agreed. Today is Dixon’s last day.

When Dixon shifted affiliations, Cawley Wilcox was 120 strong and growing, with sights set on pushing the staff to 200. But that was early 2001. The company has shrunk to 70, scaled back its development to build-to-suits and shaved costs like every other business to buck the recession.

“Reagan was very much the right decision,” says Ran Holman, Cawley International’s president. “It was just the wrong time. I will be personally saddened not have him down the hall, but I also know that he’s just a phone call away.”

Part of Dixon’s role at Cawley Wilcox was to mentor younger brokers, but the hires never came due to the economy. The downsizing has left a nucleus of senior professionals, a level comfortable for doing business in today’s world but not one that needs a mentor. That left Dixon as “a high-powered manager minding an intermediate services firm,” explains Holman. The Cawley, Holman, John Conger team is firmly rooted in place and the firm is well-positioned to weather the rest of the recession, GlobeSt.com is told.

Dixon, a proverbial optimist, says this is the first time that he’s been unemployed in his life…and he did it to himself. “It was my responsibility to decide what we needed to do and I decided I was next,” he says. At the beginning of the month, Stephen B. Platt stepped down as president of Wilcox Development Services Inc. and is now splitting his R&R time between Dallas and lake-front property in Canada. Last week, Seth Weinstein and Mitchell Wolff left to form their own company.

Dixon says his plan going forward is to take that vacation he had scheduled. Then, he will hit the ground running to build a consulting business, targeting management and financial planning.

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