REA Group chief resigns

Real estate classified company boss to stay in role until successor appointed.

Shares in real estate classified service REA Group (REA) have plunged after chief executive officer Greg Ellis resigned to pursue an opportunity outside the company.

At 1045 AEDT, REA shares fell 8.46% to $37.10, against a benchmark index lift of 0.52%.

REA shares fell as low as $37.03 in earlier trade.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, REA said Mr Ellis will take up an overseas appointment at a non-competitive organisation.

He will remain in his role as CEO of the group that owns realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au until a successor is appointed and REA says it will now start a search for a replacement.

REA chairman Hamish McLennan said Mr Ellis had led the development of a clear purpose and strategic vision for the group and the business was on track to deliver against this strategy in fiscal 2014.