New REA boss starts job early

REA Group’s newly appointed chief, Tracy Fellows, has moved her starting date forward from September to 20 August 2014.

 Ms Fellows was appointed the head role in early June, before the group’s website angered real estate agents by raising its advertising fees.

Peter Tonagh, interim chief executive of REA Group, told Fairfax that a key challenge for Ms Fellows will be to repair and manage those agent relationships that have been soured.

“I’ve got no argument that we have a task ahead of us to prove to the agents that we’re working as partners with them, and that we value them very much as part of our business and will continue to do that,” he said.

“My experience has been that when you sit down with any of the agents and you talk to them about our strategy and about what they are trying to achieve, they understand the position.”

Mr Tonagh said he was confident that Ms Fellows was the right person for the job, having held senior positions at Microsoft and Australia Post.

“She has worked for a number of businesses that have very significant relationship requirements,” he said.

“Yes, she will have challenges, like anyone who goes into a new business, and I am more than confident she will be up to those challenges.”

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