In an announcement on Monday, the Domain board said it had accepted the resignation of Mr Catalano after four years at the helm.

Mr Catalano said his decision to step down was due to family reasons.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Catalano also said he would need to relocate from Melbourne to Sydney to keep up with the demands of the position, something he “wouldn’t ask” his family to do due to schooling and other requirements.

“I understand and regret that the timing of this decision is unusually short from Domain’s listing,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

Mr Catalano became chief executive of Domain in 2013 and had worked with Fairfax Media since 1990.

The Domain share price dropped to a record low of about 12 per cent following the announcement, from $3.32 at close on Friday to $2.93 by 10:45 am on Monday, indicating Mr Catalano’s value to the group.

Shares on Fairfax Media, which has a 60 per cent stake in Domain after spinning it out last year, dropped about 6 per cent over the same time period.

A domestic and international search for a new CEO is commencing, Fairfax said.

During this time, Domain chairman Nick Falloon, who also chairs Fairfax, will act as executive chairman.