Domain restructures in move to ‘be in charge of own destiny’ amid float talk

DomainFairfax Media’s real estate division has made the decision to bring media sales in house and also move its commercial real estate section, which had been in the Financial Review Group, under one umbrella in a sign it could be preparing for a float.

The changes are part of a broader restructure by Domain CEO Anthony Catalano who was appointed to the job in November from Metro Media Publishing.

Under the restructure Tom Blamey, formerly general manager of real estate at Fairfax Media in Melbourne, becomes chief operating officer of Domain while Simon Kent, who left Standard Media Index last month, takes the role of national agency sales director, running the in house sales team.

In announcing the changes Catalano told staff that the aim of the move was to “make Domain Group a self-sufficient business unit, in control of all of its product development, marketing and sales activities.”



He noted  that the changes would: “Consolidate all digital real estate services under Domain Group so that we have one strategy, one operating model and grow the businesses as fast as possible.”

The real estate group is seen as an important strand of the digital strategy for Fairfax, with speculation rising since a restructure last year the profitable group could be split off and floated independently on the Australian Securities Exchange, with Catalano stating in the email to staff last week: “We now have the structure, leadership and autonomy to be in charge of our own destiny.

As part of the move the commercial real estate is moving under the Domain brand, with Paul Kitchin as general manager, “as a standalone business unit, where it will be given the resources and autonomy to invest in growing its digital business”, with the new team looking at bundling more digital offerings with print products.

The structure also sees Property Data Solutions which was acquired in December by Domain integrated with the existing data business  under general manager Tom White.

Fairfax did not respond to requests for comment but Catalano wrote the changes “should serve to emphasise the importance of Domain Group to Fairfax and the freedom we are being given to move quickly and do things in a way we think will serve our clients and the business best.”

Nic Christensen and Alex Hayes


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