PHOTO: John McGrath exits REA Group board after 18 year stint.

He has been on the board since its 1999 float. He was its chairman for four years until 2007.

McGrath was an early adopter of new technology, instrumental in seeing the digital real estate website eventually succeeding in what had been a sales industry slow to embrace change. In 2000 McGrath convinced Lachlan Murdoch to take equity, in a deal that saved the small internet start-up from a dotcom implosion. Pamela Williams’ book, Killing Fairfax noted the two young men had met on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Young Patrons group.