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

The competitive advantage Australian retailers have over Amazon

With all of the hype around Amazon, many online retailers have been trying to understand how they can compete with the American retail giant.

Joel Milligan

Performance manager, Columbus Agency

How to become the customer experience custodian

The number one objective enterprises give for embarking on a digital transformation is to improve customer experiences with new engagement models, according to IDC’s 2017 global study.

Fear not: It's only a robot

Every time I pass through the automated border controls at the Sydney airport I walk away with a feeling of exasperation on the one hand and relief on the other. Exasperation, because the face recognition technology inevitably always fails to recognise me. Relief, because we seem to be safely years away from the Orwellian reality of states controlling every aspect of our lives; something the media is keenly warning us against each day.

Dan Kalinski

CEO, iProspect Australia and New Zealand

And to add after looking at event pictures plus, observing all AU's visible Blonde Bimbos (think Julie Bishop to this Georgie Gardnerare)...

absolutelyconcerned

In pictures: CMO 50 2017: The who's who of Australian marketing leadership

Read more

CMO 50 2017 announcement mentioning "innovation". I checked date and its November not April so its wasn't an April Fools' Joke. Australia...

absolutelyconcerned

In pictures: CMO 50 2017: The who's who of Australian marketing leadership

Read more

I worked at Momentum when the transformation started way back in 2013 (not 2015 as stated in the article). It was a painfully slow and co...

Jay

How Momentum Energy has transformed its entire business to be customer-led

Read more

Another buzzword thoughtlessly latched onto, without any thought for the implications on the organisations that have to lumber through th...

Tired

Rolling out agile marketing at Deakin

Read more

Useful., also don’t miss out on these 5 features of Adobe Experience Cloud - Visit here > http://www.softcrylic.com/b...

Sunil Joseph

Adobe debuts Advertising Cloud, Experience Cloud

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in