Target MD resigns amid accounting probe

Stuart Machin resigns from Wesfarmers after the ASX-listed group announces it is investigating claims of accounting issues in its last half year

Target Australia’s managing director, Stuart Machin, has resigned from the embattled retailer with immediate effect following the emergence of accounting issues in its last half-year results.

The news also comes a month after parent company, Wesfarmers, announced a restructure of the business that brought both Target and Kmart united under one department stores division and saw Kmart’s acclaimed CEO, Guy Russo, appointed at the helm.

In a statement to the ASX, Machin said he had decided to resign after eight years with Coles and then Target.

“During my tenure at Target, although the financial results were frustratingly disappointing, I feel we made enormous progress in reshaping a very troubled business,” he said.

“Latterly, I have been dismayed to learn of the accounting issues at the half year. I was not aware of these, but they happened on my watch and as managing director I accept my share of the responsibility. The right thing is now for me to move on.”

Reports emerged last week in the Australian Financial Review that Wesfarmers is investigating deals with about 30 overseas suppliers, which helped boost Target’s earnings by about US$12 million, or 25 per cent, in the six months to December 2015.

According to that article, the suppliers are understood to have agreed to give Target additional rebates in return for a guarantee of higher prices before the end of the financial year.

Wesfarmers also confirmed concerns were raised regarding Target’s accounting for commercial income as at 31 December 2015, and the group said it has acted promptly to launch a comprehensive investigation.

The outcome is expected to be finalised shortly.

Wesfarmers managing director, Richard Goyder, said he had accepted Machin’s resignation.

“Stuart made a substantial contribution to the turnaround of Coles as operations director and put great effort into working to rebuild Target. Consistent with my experience of working with Stuart, he has co-operated well with the investigation,” he said.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...


CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in