Woolworths’ David Jones without a CEO


Woolworths’ David Jones without a CEO

Published Date: 2019-02-08 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Woolworths’ David Jones without a CEO

The department store chain has had three CEOs since it was bought by Woolworths in 2014.

Woolworths is on the hunt for a new CEO for its David Jones department store chain in Australia after David Thomas quit.

In a statement, the retailer said group CEO Ian Moir would work directly with David Jones management while it found a replacement for Thomas, who left for personal reasons. No further detail was given.

Thomas took on the role in 2017 after his predecessor John Dixon was promoted to the position of CEO of Woolworths Australia - a role that was done away with last year, leaving Dixon without a job. Dixon himself replaced Iain Nairn as CEO in 2015. Nairn was previously head of Country Road but moved into the David Jones position after Paul Zahra quit weeks after Woolworths finalised its $2.1 billion takeover of the department store in 2014.

The acquisition hasn't gone as smoothly as expected. Woolworths impaired the carrying value of its investment by close to R7 billion in its 2018 financial year, which it said reflected the cyclical downturn and structural changes that had impacted performances across the Australian retail sector. It also admitted to poor or delayed execution in certain of its key initiatives.

It has since introduced new merchandise and finance systems, put its online systems on a new platform and introduced a new food initiative. It also moved the David Jones head office from Sydney to Melbourne.

Its shares fell 2.9% to R48 yesterday.

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