Melbournite Antony Catalano's shock departure from Domain as family demands

Melbournite Antony Catalano's shock departure from Domain as family demands
Melbournite Antony Catalano's shock departure from Domain as family demands

The chief executive of online real estate advertising company Domain has suddenly quit just two months after it listed separately on the share market. 

Domain was spun off from Fairfax Media and commenced trading on the ASX last November.

He has worked for Fairfax and Domain on and off for 26 years.

The company's chairman Nick Falloon is stepping in as executive chairman, as a search for a new CEO immediately commences.

Falloon said Catalano had informed the board over the Christmas break that the demands of his role and his absence from the lives of his family were more challenging than he had expected.

"It's not fair on the family," he said adding that he was grateful for the opportunities at Domain.

In a statement, the Melbourne-based father of eight who owns property in St Kilda West, Caulfield North and Byron Bay, advised family reasons for the exit. 

"When I re-joined Fairfax in November 2013, I made a commitment to my young family that I could be there for them and do the job," he said in a statement.

"It has become clear to me that doing the job of a listed company CEO the way it needs to be done means that I am not meeting that family commitment."

"It was also become apparent that I needed to relocate to Sydney and that was something I wouldn’t ask my family to do because schooling and family requirements would see young family members living in different cities.

"As it stands, I have been away from home for the bulk of each week and it’s not fair on the family.”

He noted the timing of the resignation, but said he was confident Domain’s team could keep the company on its current trajectory.

“I understand and regret that the timing of this decision is unusually short from Domain’s listing. But having been in the role for four years, I resign knowing that Domain has a great management team in place and I have every confidence in them and the business continuing on its current stunning trajectory.

In a statement to shocked staff, Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood advised that it was "business as usual for Domain".

At 10:30am, Domain shares were 11 per cent lower at $2.93. The stock is now down 22 percent from its $3.80 listing price in November 2017.

Domain will report its first-half financial results on 19 February.

In the announcement to the ASX today, the company said based on preliminary unaudited pro-forma results, it was expected to report digital revenue growth of 22% against the same period last year and revenue growth of 13%. 

As a top 20 Fairfax shareholder, Catalano owns 0.32 per cent of the company’s stock, according to Bloomberg.

Fairfax Media kept a 60 per cent stake.

 

 

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