Incoming Myer chairman impatient on growth

MyerIncoming Myer chairman Garry Hounsell is impatient for the struggling department store to return to profit growth, but stresses it will take time and hard work.

The former Qantas director will step into his new role when Paul McClintock retires next month.

“I believe in the new Myer strategy which is helping the business to compete in a challenging retail environment,” Hounsell said in a statement on Wednesday.

“While I am impatient for a return to profit growth I also understand that transformations take time and discipline.”

Outgoing chairman McClintock said the Myer board had sought a successor with a diverse skill set that complemented the board’s directors experience.

“Importantly, this includes not only traditional retail expertise including in department stores and specialty retail but also in the fields that are shaping the new retail environment such as digital, data, customer experience and brand management,” he said.

“Myer’s directors also have a wider range of skills required to deliver Myer’s transformation including property, financial, risk management, change and talent management.”

Hounsell was appointed to the Myer board in September as a non-executive director and deputy chairman.

He is also a director of several other companies including Treasury Wine Estates.

Myer last week posted its worst profit since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2009.

It is almost half-way into a five-year, $600 million turnaround plan based on giving more space to popular brands, slashing private labels and shutting stores.

Myer executives will next month lay out how far the new Myer strategy has progressed and detail its merchandise, digital and property plans.

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