David Jones marketing chief departs; digital executive role created

Department store giant announces creation of a dedicated digital role as part of raft of executive changes

David Jones has shaken up its executive leadership team, a move that sees its GM of marketing, financial services and customer insights depart as well as a new group executive of digital come on-board.

As part of senior management changes announced this week, the department store giant confirmed David Robinson, its group executive of marketing, financial services and customer insights, is leaving the business after two-and-a-half years in the role and more than 15 years with the business.

He will be replaced in an interim capacity by COO, David Thomas.

Robinson took over responsibility for marketing and customer innovation in January 2014, after spending the previous couple of years working on David Jones’omni-channel retailing strategy. The department store has had a patchy history in the ecommerce space, but has seen steady growth in the last couple of years around its digital offering.

The retailer also confirmed its GM of marketing and communications, Victoria Doidge, is also leaving the business, after less than two years in the role.

David Jones is also looking to appoint its first group executive of digital, a role focused on expanding the company’s digital strategy that will report directly to its CEO, John Dixon. The company said an executive search is currently underway for this position.

David Jones has also brought on David Collins as its group executive of merchandise to replace Donna Player, who is leaving the business. Collins has spent 25 years in merchandise and commercial retail roles, most recently at Woolworths South Africa (David Jones’ parent company).

As part of the changes, David Jones is also promoting GM of food, Pieter de Wet, to a group executive position, a move it says reflects the growing importance of its food business.

In a statement, Dixon said David Jones is undergoing a significant transformation that required a new-look leadership team.

“The creation of two new executive roles, combined with the introduction of new skills and experience, reflects key areas of strategic focus and will extend our capabilities during this exciting phase of business development,” he said.

David Jones was purchased by Woolworths Holdings in August 2014, bringing it into the same fold as the Country Road Group.

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