CIO, CMO take top two posts at Myer following Brookes' departure

Retailer's chairman says the executive choices are reflective of the need to transform the business to be more customer-centric

Myer store
Myer store

Myer CEO, Bernie Brookes, is stepping down with immediate effect, a move that sees the retailer’s chief technologist take the top job and its CMO become his deputy.

In a statement today, Myer said Brookes will be replaced by current chief information and supply chain officer, Richard Umbers, effective immediately. As part of the executive shift, the retailer’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, Daniel Bracken, will take on the deputy CEO’s post in addition to his other responsibilities.

Both Bracken and Umbers joined Myer mid-last year as part of a raft of senior executive appointments. Bracken was formerly the CEO of The Apparel Group and was given the job of overseeing merchandising strategy including managing design, sourcing, buying and manufacturing, as well as advertising, digital, marketing, events and executing Myer’s brand strategy.

In a statement, Myer chairman, Paul McClintock, said the two senior appointments reflected the need for a new strategy to put customers back at the centre of the business.

“It has become clear that to thrive in a modern retail environment, Myer must adapt more quickly and be closer to its customers,” Myer chairman, Paul McClintock, said in a statement announcing the executive changes.

“A strategic review has been ongoing for some time, with a view to reshaping the business for a profitable sustainable future. The addition of highly experienced executives last year has brought a broad range of perspectives to the strategic review. Based on this work, it has become evident that a transformation project of the scale required to achieve the board’s vision will take a number of years to implement.

“The board and management team have agreed that the transformation work has reached a pivotal point and it is appropriate for a new CEO to be given the opportunity to own, lead and drive the transformation program over the coming years.”

Umbers had already demonstrated his ability to “reshape” Myer in this new retail business landscape, McClintock continued. Umbers previously held senior roles at Aldi in Europe and Woolworths and joined Myer from Australia Post, where he was executive general manager for Parcel and Express Services and CEO of StarTrack.

“He has broad international experience across the retail sector and importantly, success in leading business transformation, Richard heads up a highly experience executive team with strong international and fashion credentials,” McClintock said.

An extensive customer research project using internal and external data had delivered a clear definition of the current and future Myer customer, he continued.

“We must be more consistent in putting the customer at the centre of all of our thinking,” Umbers said in the statement. “An in-depth analysis of Myer’s current and future target customer is giving us a very clear picture of where we need to focus our efforts.

“We recognise the power of these customer conversations and these insights are shaping our view of the future of Myer.”

Related: Myer full-year results: Loyalty program, online sales bright spots but profits slide

Brookes was originally expected to leave the top job at the conclusion of his contract in August last year, but was reappointed on an open term contract after the retail group’s merger offer to David Jones was rejected.

Myer also confirmed today that its CFO, Mark Ashby, had resigned to take up a role overseas. Myer also appointed former Simplot CMO, Tara Lordsmith, as its new group general manager of marketing in December.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Can marketers trust agencies again?

Unless you’ve been marketing under a rock, you’ll probably have questioned whether your media agencies are offering you transparency.

Nic Halley

Founder and managing director, Mindbox

Minor correct Nadia, just wanted to clarify that the "Marketo consultants" that did this work, were actually Hoosh consultants

Fab Capodicasa

What it's taking for Edible Blooms to grow a stronger personalisation strategy

Read more

Im not surprise though, been in the industry for couple of years and I feel and see it with my tow eyes how eCommerce platforms innovated...

Jason Smith

Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment

Read more

For marketers that are "going Agile" I recommend using Ravetree. It's a really powerful suite of tools for Agile project management, reso...

Janice Morgan

7 ways to run your marketing department like a software startup

Read more

Over the years very part of our lives has become technological. That’s why I am not surprised to see that Australian home loans are going...

GreatDayTo

Why Aussie Home Loans is embracing digital transformation

Read more

Please be alerted eHarmony is a 17+ years old obsolete site. eHarmony is only supported by a big marketing budget and not by serious scie...

FernandoArdenghi

CMO interview: eHarmony CMO reveals what it takes to foster great team relationships

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in