David Jones Management Shakeup Includes New Digital Role

By Julian Thumm | 26 May 2016

In the midst of a transformation strategy, David Jones has again shaken up its senior management team and created a new executive digital position.

David Jones has announced a major overhaul to its senior management team and has created two new executive roles, including a new digital role to help develop the retailer’s online strategy.

Earlier this week, the company announced that merchandise executive, Donna Player, and head of marketing, financial services and customer insights, David Robinson, would be leaving, effective immediately.

David Collins, a long-time Woolworths South Africa executive, will replace Player.

Current COO David Thomas will temporarily replace Robinson while the company looks for a suitable replacement. Robinson had been with the department store since 1998 and been responsible for a range of areas including omnichannel, supply chain and financial services.

As part of the management shakeup, the retailer has created a new executive position to focus specifically on expanding the retailer’s online presence and developing its e-commerce strategy. The incoming digital boss will report to CEO John Dixon.

Recruiting for the position is “well advanced”, the company said in a statement.

“Our business is undergoing a significant transformation and the changes announced today will deliver a world-class leadership team,” Dixon said. “The creation of two new executive roles, combined with the introduction of new skills and experience, reflects key areas of strategic focus and will extend our capabilities during this exciting phase of the business’ development.”

The second new role created will be group executive of food. Peter de Wet, currently general manager of food, has been appointed to this position.

Over the past year, primary competitor Myer has significantly focused on developing its digital channels, through its New Myer strategy and the appointment of a non-executive digital director. David Jones, however, has been slow to upgrade its digital channels and has struggled with senior management stability since Woolworths Holdings Limited (South Africa) took over in 2014.

In 2014, former David Jones CEO Paul Zahra resigned, with his successor, Iain Nairn, stepping down barely one year later.

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