Former REA Group Chief Executive Officer Tracey Fellows has announced her shock retirement.
According to the Financial Review (subscriber paywall), she has told staff the decision is for personal reasons.
A highly lauded media executive, Ms Fellows headed REA Group from 2014 to 2019, and has been credited as a key player in establishing the success realestate.com.au has achieved.
In 2019, Ms Fellows moved to New York to take up the role of President Global Digital Real Estate for News Corp and oversaw brands such as realtor.com in the US and housing.com in India.
In a statement to the ASX towards the end of 2018, when Ms Fellows’ New York position was announced, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson praised her leadership.
“Tracey has driven the rapid expansion of the digital real estate business in Australia and Asia and we believe her leadership internationally will ensure that all of our digital property companies realise their extraordinary potential,” Mr Thomson said.
“She is an inspiring leader who is able to bring out the best in teams and in individuals.”
According to the Financial Review, Mr Thomson told a Goldman Sachs conference last week that Ms Fellows was retiring for “personal reasons”, and that she had been key to “connecting the Australian culture with the US culture” when it came to the digital real estate business.
He said he would take on Ms Fellows’ responsibilities.
“The need for someone to drive that conversation in the same way isn’t quite there, and that’s a mark of (Fellows’) success and her contribution commercially and culturally,” Mr Thomson said.
In 2017, Elite Agent Managing Editor Samantha McLean spoke with Ms Fellows as part of Transform Masters about her career, leadership journey and why being a good leader didn’t have to be complicated.
Prior to joining REA Group, Ms Fellows held top positions with Australia Post and Microsoft.
When speaking at Transform Masters, Ms Fellows said being authentic, as an agent to clients and as a leader within a business, had the power to take you places.
“I think people can spot falseness, they really can,” she said at the time.
“People want real people; they want to trust them, they want to feel like there’s a connection.
“They care about what they’re doing for them, and that they’ve got their interest at heart. I think everybody wants that, whether it’s from their manager or from someone they’ve got a commercial dealing with.
“You want to feel good at the end of each of those discussions, and if the outcome of the discussion is still tough, on whatever commercial terms, but you feel you’re sitting across the table from someone who is accountable and authentic, I think it’s a much easier conversation.”
It is understood Ms Fellows will return to Australia, focusing on board responsibilities in the immediate term. She is a non-executive director at REA Group and sits on the board of Hemnet, a Swedish digital property company.