Domain CEO Antony Catalano resigns

Fairfax’s real estate listings and content portal Domain has announced its CEO Antony Catalano is leaving the business.

Catalano re-joined Fairfax in 2013

Domain exists as a Fairfax-controlled ASX-listed entity after it was separated from the main publishing business last year.

The business will conduct a local and international search for Catalano’s replacement. In the interim, Domain chairman Nick Falloon will act as executive chairman, with the leadership team reporting into him.

Both the company and Catalano said the resignation was a result of his desire to put his family first.

Falloon said: “Antony informed the Board over the Christmas break he had realised that the demands for his role and his absence from the lives of his family were proving more challenging than he had expected and he had decided to put his family first.”

Catalano said the demands of being the CEO of a listed company were not compatible with a commitment he had made to his family.

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. 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.

Domain finished trading at $3.90 after its first day on the ASX and currently sits at $3.32

“Having worked with Fairfax Media and Domain for more than 26 years, I am proud of what has been achieved, most importantly seeing Domain grow into the formidable business that it is today, capable of being a stand-alone listed entity.

“I am grateful for the opportunities it has provided me and I wish the Fairfax Group of companies and my colleagues and friends great success in the future.”

Catalano was the property editor and marketing director for Fairfax’s The Age before he was made redundant by the company. He went on to launch Metro Media Publishing in 2010, which included The Weekly Review – a rival to Fairfax’s The Melbourne Weekly.

By 2011, Fairfax had taken a 50% stake in Catalano’s venture for $35m. The deal also saw the assets of Fairfax Community Newspapers merged into Metro Media Publishing.

In 2013, Catalano rejoined Fairfax as Domain’s CEO. At the time, Fairfax chief executive officer Greg Hywood said: “We are delighted Antony will lead our Domain business and retain oversight of MMP. Having put MMP on the road to sustained success Antony is now in a position to lead Domain and take it to its full potential.

“Antony is innovative, entrepreneurial, highly competitive and his knowledge of theAustralian real estate market is second to none. His appointment is clearly a significant industry development.”

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 is expected to report digital revenue growth of 22% against the same period last year and revenue growth of 13%.


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