After 11 years as the managing director of Officeworks, Mark Ward has announced he will be retiring at the end of the year.
In a statement on Monday, Ward said “the time was right” for someone else to lead the national office supplies retailer into the future.
“Collectively we have come a long way on our purpose of ’helping to make bigger things happen’, but we still have much to do in an ever-changing and highly competitive environment,” Ward said.
“I am very confident that, with the quality of Officeworks’ team and the plans now in place, Officeworks can continue to grow and be successful.”
In response to Ward’s resignation, Wesfarmers’ Managing Director, Rob Scott spoke highly of Ward’s time with the company.
“Mark has been a highly valued member of our leadership team,” Scott said. “He has been a brilliant leader of Officeworks in a distinctively quiet and unassuming way.
“Mark is held in extremely high regard, not just in Wesfarmers, but in the wider Australian business community.”
During his time with the business, Ward helped the office supplies retailer make the transition into a multichannel shopping environment, which has played a part in the brand’s consistent revenue growth. In the most recent March quarter, Officeworks recorded a 7.2 percent increase in revenue, with sales being up 9.7 percent for the first half of fiscal 18.
Ward will remain in his role as Officeworks’ managing director until December this year but will stay active within the Wesfarmers Group for the foreseeable future. Moving forward he will be a member of the Wesfarmers Advanced Analytics Advisory Board, as well as the Bunnings Australia and New Zealand board.
Ward’s announcement makes him the third senior executive from Wesfarmers Group to tender his resignation so far this year, with PJ Davis, who was in charge of Bunnings UK and Ireland, and Coles’ Managing Director, John Durkan both stepping down in the first half of 2018.
The search for Officeworks’ new managing director has commenced, with Wesfarmers hoping for a smooth transition thanks to Ward’s long notice period.
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