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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

To DMP or not to DMP?

There are plenty of brands that can benefit from plugging into a data management platform. But should you engage an agency to run one or bring it in-house?

Ben Willee and Richard Taylor

Spinach Advertising

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

Marin Software’s digital marketing solution as a short way of streamlining and finding a scalable solution...

Al Drazhev

How BizCover is boosting search advertising success

Read more

It is really inspiring to see that medial psychology & machines are going hand in hand to innovate new things and even are improving ...

CBT Professionals

How psychology is shaping better machine learning

Read more

Anything is achievable when you talk the talk .. good luck

Mo Al Hooti

Data Creative crowns Matt Bates as new CMO

Read more

Great hire and good luck Andrew. I am sure you'll do a fabulous jobRob

Rob

Amaysim marketing and commercial chief joins property tech investment startup

Read more

I need to be reborn before i can grow up & become a contestent.

Kaye Peterkin

Channel Nine's content now streamed digitally on 9Now

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in