Over the Christmas break Antony Catalano realised he was spending too much time apart from his young family, so he made the tough decision to resign as head of the recently listed property company.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on January 22, 2018

Just two months after Domain Holdings was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), its CEO has stepped down citing family reasons.

Fairfax Media announced Antony Catalano’s shock resignation, which was accepted by the board.

Catalano has led Domain since 2013, guiding it through its demerger with Fairfax last year, and news of his departure saw the real estate company’s stock price plummet by 12% to a record low of $2.92 when markets opened.

Citi analyst David Kaynes said: “The chief executive was a significant factor in the success of the spin-out. Antony Catalano was a key factor in the success of the separation of Domain from Fairfax in our view, with the next level of management not nearly as well known to investors.”

Domain chairman Nick Falloon, who also chairs Fairfax, will act as executive chairman and have the senior leadership team report to him, until the search for a new CEO concludes.

CEO puts his family first

“When I rejoined 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,” Catalano revealed.

“It was also becoming 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.”

Still in its infancy as a stand-alone company, Catalano admits the timing isn’t ideal but insists the leadership team in place is more than capable of building on its recent momentum.

“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,” he added.

“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.”