Myer selects former House of Fraser chief as new CEO

Embattled Australian department store giant gets new CEO and managing director

Gary Hounsell (left) and John King
Gary Hounsell (left) and John King

Myer has recruited UK retail industry veteran, John King, as its new CEO and managing director following an international executive search.

The embattled ASX-listed department store announced the appointment today, outlining King’s experience leading the successful transformation of UK department store giant, House of Fraser, from 2006 until its sale to Chinese conglomerate, Sanpower, in 2014, as a key reason for his appointment. The deal was worth £480 million.

“Over the course of his tenure at the House of Fraser, John and his team consistently grew revenues, differentiated the product offering and launched a successful online business, improved EBITDA and reduced the company’s debt,” Myer executive chairman, Garry Hounsell, said in a statement.

“They also refurbished more than 70 per cent of the property portfolio and implemented a vision, values and culture program. John understands fashion retailing and customers, particularly at department stores. He is an excellent candidate to lead Myer and I look forward to working with him to unlock the company’s significant potential and deliver shareholder value.”

King’s appointment comes two months after former CEO and managing director, Richard Umbers, stepped down from the role just days after issuing a half-year finances warning and decision not to name a net profit guidance figure to the stock exchange.

Umbers’ departure also came just three months after Hounsell took up the chairman’s position and immediately began expressing his frustration at the state of the company’s performance and turnaround.

King has more than 30 years in the retail trade, working across merchandising, store operations, ecommerce, sourcing and supply chain. Since leaving House of Fraser, he’s been in the US, consulting to a number of US-based retailers and working with several startups.

“I’m excited to lead this iconic Australian company. Which like all global retailers, is facing significant change in both the retail environment and consumer shopping habit,” King said. “I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of this role.”

Myer kicked off its $600 million ‘New Myer’ strategy more than two years ago, a transformation agenda aimed at improving its customer focus, experiential offerings, omni-channel shopping capabilities and lifting productivity across the group.

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

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

Why efficiency and effectiveness are opposing forces in a marketing tug of war

I’ve been a long-time fan of renowned effectiveness experts, Peter Field and Les Binet, and their work. But while their approach is clearly important, the marketing leader’s challenge to deliver effectiveness more often lies in organisational structure. I see the bigger question being whether a marketing chief has a seat at the executive table, and the ear and respect of the CEO and company board.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

Augmented Reality: What’s behind the marketing industry’s failure of imagination?

Every flagship smartphone in Australia includes hardware and software purpose-built for AR. A huge audience is ready and waiting. We have an opportunity to craft extraordinary, innovative work. But to get there, we need to push our creative thinking a little harder, writes Gil Fewster.

Gil Fewster

Creative technologist, The Royals

Does your brand need a personality review?

There are five tell-tale signs your brand needs to take a long hard look at itself.

Charlie Rose

Senior Strategy Consultant, Principals

Why it's important for me to know that? I don't get it, sorry.

James Fogle

7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment

Read more

Info graphic have proven to be very useful to create brand awareness and drive traffic. Thanks for sharing these Information.Graphic Desi...

Govind Dadhich

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Best web hosting packages Vancouver WA understands that only technical support and domain associated email address can bring huge leads ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

I had the same vision about change from CX terminology to HX. Even with almost the same title: 'Forget customer experience...' https://ww...

Ekaterina Khramkova

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Thank you, so do I.

David Freeman

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in