CFO World

Domain Group gets a new CEO

Former Google A/NZ MD takes the reins following sudden departure of Antony Catalano in January
Jason Pellegrino

Jason Pellegrino

Domain has recruited former Google Australia and New Zealand managing director, Jason Pellegrino, has its new chief following the sudden departure of Antony Catalano earlier this year.

Pellegrino became Google as MD in May 2016 and has been on the search engine and media giant’s Asia-Pacific regional team. He originally joined the company in 2008 and held roles across sales as well as operations and strategy.

Prior to this, he spent more than 15 years in corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions and finance, working for Dakota Capital Partners, LEK Consulting, PepsiCo and KPMG.

Domain Group chairman, Nick Falloon, said Pellegrino’s career as a digital executive and his deep experience in sales, strategy, operations and product and technology were key factors behind his appointment.

“His leadership acumen and track record for inspiring and driving performance at Google will greatly assist him to take Domain, and its many talented people, into an exciting next stage of growth,” he said.

Pellegrino’s appointment comes six months after the abrupt and surprise departure of Catalano in January, which in itself came just two months after the Domain Group split out from Fairfax and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange as an independent business.

Catalano had previously been recognised as one of the key players behind the group’s growth trajectory in recent years. His departure was attributed to his decision to focus more on his family, but a month later, speculation rose about the ‘boys club’ mentality he had fostered in the business and a workplace review kicked off at the organisation.

Catalano has since re-emerged at Tomorrow Agency, having purchased a stake in the real estate and developer’s creative agency.

Commenting on his latest role, Pellegrino said he was looking forward to taking up the Domain reins.

“I have spent close to a decade with Google and consider myself enormously lucky to have worked with fantastic colleagues, partners and customers, dealing with the rapid shift in technology, from desktop to smartphone and now the AI-powered world ahead,” he commented.

“Throughout this time, I have always prided myself on supporting the growth of incredibly strong teams and establishing transparent and trusting relationships with partners and customers, something I am looking forward to continuing as I join Domain.”

Pellegrino officially assumes his new role at the end of August on a $1.2 million salary with additional cash bonus options of $500,000 and an allocation of shares worth $2 million, subject to shareholder approval. Falloon will continue as interim executive chairman until that time, before resuming his role as non-executive chairman.

Google declined to comment on a replacement for Pellegrino, but offered a statement from its president for Asia-Pacific Karim Temsamani.

“I want to thank Jason for his tremendous contribution to Google over the past decade. Jason has not only been a great leader for our operations in Australia and New Zealand, he has also been a strong champion of the digital agenda and opportunity for the region. I have learned a lot from him and I am sad to lose him from our leadership team. I and the wider Google team will indeed miss him, both as a great colleague and leader.”

Last week, Google also confirmed it had brought on a new hardware marketing chief while former head of hardware marketing, Julia Donnan, is on parental leave.

New recruit, Zoe Hayes, has more than 18 years of marketing experience and was most recently at the Hanes Group, where she led a revitalisation plan across the Berlei brand. This included the campaign, #doitforyourself, featuring tennis superstar, Serena Williams.

The role covers Google Home and Pixel devices.

“Zoe brings to the role a wealth of experience in brand building and creativity - I’m thrilled to have Zoe joining us as head of hardware marketing A/NZ,” Google director of marketing, Aisling Finch, said in a statement.

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