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

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: ABC's Leisa Bacon

In this episode of Conversations over a Cuppa with CMO, ABC's director of audiences, Leisa Bacon, shares how she's navigated the COVID-19 crisis, the milestones and adaptability it's ushered in, and what sustained lessons there are for marketers as we start to recover.

More Videos

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well. I just came across your website and I have to say that your work is really appreciative. Your conte...

Rochie Grey

Will 3D printing be good for retail?

Read more

Zero proof spiritsUsa since 2011 www.arkaybeverages.com🤪🤟

Sylvie

How this alcohol-free spirits brand rode the health and wellness wave

Read more

okay this a good newsmaybe i gonna try it

kenzopoker1

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 9 July 2020

Read more

Very insightful. Executive leaders can let middle managers decide on the best course of action for the business and once these plans are ...

Abi TCA

CMOs: Let middle managers lead radical innovation

Read more

One failing brand tying up with another failing brand!

Realist

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

Blog Posts

MYOD Dataset: Building a DAM

In my first article in this MYOD [Make Your Organisation Data-Driven] series, I articulated a one-line approach to successfully injecting data into your organisation’s DNA: Using a Dataset -> Skillset -> Mindset framework. This will take your people and processes on a journey to data actualisation.

Kshira Saagar

Group director of data science, Global Fashion Group

Business quiet? Now is the time to review your owned assets

For businesses and advertiser categories currently experiencing a slowdown in consumer activity, now is the optimal time to get started on projects that have been of high importance, but low urgency.

Olia Krivtchoun

CX discipline leader, Spark Foundry

Bottoms up: Lockdown lessons for an inverted marketing world

The effects of the coronavirus slammed the brakes on retail sales in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Fever-Tree’s Australia GM Andy Gaunt explains what they have learnt from some tricky months of trading

Andy Gaunt

General manager, Fever-Tree Australia and New Zealand

Sign in