David Jones CEO Splits Following Long Goodbye

CEO of David Jones, Paul Zahra has announced his resignation for the second time in as many years. The difference is it’s effective immediately this time, with a replacement ready to take the helm.

David Jones has officially parted ways with CEO Paul Zahra, following the $2.2 billion takeover by Woolworths South Africa, making way for new management practices and (hopefully) a more innovative business overall.

Woolworths SA announced that Zahra would be stepping down effective immediately, saying that the time was perfect for his departure, with the new leadership ready to step in. Enter: Ian Nairn, ex-CEO of Country Road – a brand that Woolworths SA also recently acquired.

Other management changes include David Thomas – also of Country Road – stepping in as COO at David Jones, and former Witchery head Matt Keogh becoming CEO of Country Road.

Zahra’s departure is far from a shock, having announced his plans to resign last year, before being asked to stay on to help the brand weather a series of board-level debacles that eventually culminated in the recent Woolworths SA takeover.

Woolworths SA has already hinted at its plans for improvements to be made at David Jones, with Fairfax reporting the company intends to sell more private label fashion, building out a loyalty program as well as further operational changes in a bid to generate an added $130 million in profit over the coming years.

What these changes will look like is anyone’s guess at this stage, however we can only hope the brand begins to be rejuvenated with a more innovative approach to retail.

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