Godfreys brings in chief customer officer to spearhead transformation

Floor cleaning retailer and distributor CEO says latest recruit will help with a brand repositioning and improve CX

Floor cleaning brand retailer and distributor, Godfreys, has brought on a new chief customer officer as one of two fresh executive-level appointments aimed at transforming the business.

The ASX-listed company has brought on Goodyear’s former GM of digital, marketing, product, data and IT, Cat Parker, as its new chief customer officer, commencing next week. She is joined by new chief people and culture officer, Mari Ruiz, who comes from BankVic and has 25 years’ experience in HR management and drove a cultural transformation program in 2017.

During her time at Goodyear, Parker provided digital, marketing, data, IT and product management support to more than 600 stores nationally, incorporating a mix of company owned, franchised and licensed operators plus wholesale and manufacturing divisions.

Prior to this, she was the founder and GM of digital and ecommerce for Found, a subsidiary of Sensis. Her resume also includes retail leadership roles in the US with Wendy’s, Toys “R” Us and eBay Enterprises.

The newly created role at Godfreys covers brand, digital, ecomerce, data and analytics, customer insights, customer experience, media and advertising and PR.

Godfreys CEO, Jason Gowie, said the two appointments will enhance capability in key focus areas for the business. Both women are part of a new-look leadership structure brought in by Gowie since he took the top job two months ago.

“We are looking forward to the significant contribution both Cat and Mari will make in transforming the Godfreys business over the coming years,” he said in a statement.

The new recruits were announced just two weeks after Godfreys released its half-year results, and confirmed a transformation plan was underway.

In the half-year to 31 December 2017, Godfreys reported a 6.2 per cent drop in like-for-like store sales, and 8.9 per cent drop in revenue to $84.2 million. Underlying EBITDA profit was $3.6 million, and the company reported a net loss of $58.6 million, impacted by impairment charges of $75.2m.

At the time, Gowie highlighted that the results represented a consistent trend of negative like-for-like sales over the last three halves and said it was clear there was a need for change in the business. The transformation will include reinvesting into five key areas: Brand and customer experience; product range; channels, people and culture and technology.

“During my first two months, I have individually met with over 300 team members, visited 70 stores across Australia and met with a number of our key business partners, which has given me clear insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the business,” he stated in announcing the results on 20 February.

“I have also commissioned detailed brand and customer experience insights to give us greater understanding of how we are perceived by our customers and the broader market.”

The chief customer officer’s remit is to strengthen the position of key brands, improve customer experiences and generate growth via ecommerce, Gowie said. the role reports directly into the CEO.

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