New Myer CEO John King and executive chairman, Garry Hounsell at Myer Melbourne

New Myer CEO John King and executive chairman Garry Hounsell.

Myer has named a new CEO and managing director, following an extensive international search.

The retailer announced British retail veteran John King will replace Richard Umbers, who stepped down in February.

King led the successful transformation of UK department store, House of Fraser from 2006, culminating in a sale to Chinese conglomerate, Sanpower, in 2014.

For the last three years, King has been living and working in the United States where he consulted on a variety of US-based retailers and was actively involved in a number of start-ups. He will commence work at Myer subject to visa approval and will be based in Melbourne.

New Myer CEO led House of Fraser from 2006 to 2014.

King led the successful transformation of UK department store, House of Fraser, from 2006.

Myer executive chairman, Garry Hounsell said, “John brings over 30 years of highly relevant retail experience across department stores, specialty retailing, premium global brands, wholesale apparel and discount retail.

“During his career, John has gained significant experience across all aspects of merchandise, as well as store operations, e-commerce, sourcing and supply chain. He will bring a new perspective to Myer and has been given a full mandate by the board to deliver an improvement in financial performance.”

Hounsell said King’s success with House of Fraser made him an “excellent candidate” to lead the business.

“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 debt. They also refurbished more than 70 per cent of the property portfolio and implemented a vision, values and culture program.

“John 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 added, “I am excited to lead this iconic Australian company, which like all global retailers, is facing significant change in both the retail environment and consumer shopping habits. I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of this role.”

This story was originally published by Appliance Retailer.


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