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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

​We have expected artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our everyday lives for quite some time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

What a great article. Thanks for sharing. Today Digital Marketing is the basic need for a business to survive. As online presence is very...

Ecomsolver Private Limited

Want to master digital transformation? Stop thinking about your own problems

Read more

Feeling grateful that customer led digital transformation could improve business and generate more business growth. Many companies are no...

Lilly Lawrence

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

If a business games me happy than there is a higher chance I will go to them.

Martinez

The Iconic: becoming customer-focussed transformed our business

Read more

That’s a great example of surprising AR ad that went viral because it was first of its kind. Probably a similar effect to some scale can ...

Natasha Kvitka

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

Read more

Hey there! it is a really meaningful post. I too have written a few similar articles about SEM, SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing Tren...

Rohit

Digital advertising continues to dominate marketing budgets

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in