Domain Holdings Australia Limited (ASX:DHG) appoints ex-Google MD as new CEO

Domain Holdings Australia Limited (ASX: DHG) has appointed a new chief operating officer. The owner of the second most popular property site has chosen Jason Pellegrino to be the CEO.

He was the Managing Director for Google Australia & New Zealand since May 2016 and he was also a member of the Asia-Pacific regional leadership team.

As part of his Google work, Jason Pellegrino was Managing Director of Asia-Pacific Sales Operations & Strategy, Sales Director in Australia and Head of Sales and Operations & Strategy for Google’s Australia & New Zealand business. He also worked in other high-powered roles at PepsiCo and KPMG.

The Chairman of the Domain Board said “We are delighted to have Jason join Domain as CEO. Jason’s career as a digital executive with deep experience in sales, strategy, operations and product and technology speaks for itself.

“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.”

Clearly, he comes with pedigree. Indeed, the Domain Board apparently ran a “comprehensive” global search for the role attracting a strong field of international and local candidates. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Wollongong and an MBA from London Business School.

He said “I am delighted to be joining the incredibly talented team at Domain and I can’t wait to be part of the exciting growth journey ahead.

“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.

“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.”

He will be paid handsomely for his efforts with a base $1.2 million package including super, as well as a $500,000 cash sign-on bonus.

Is Domain a buy?

It’s currently trading at 29x FY19’s estimated earnings, which isn’t cheap. The market similarly values REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) highly but I don’t think Domain offers investors as much growth potential because it only generates revenue in Australia.

It does have powerful platform benefits and a strong moat, but that may not be enough to justify the current price. For now, I’d give Domain shares a miss and look for better-valued opportunities.

As an example, these exciting growth shares are all tipped by the Motley Fool experts to do big things over the next few years.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended REA Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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