Former House of Fraser boss John King has been named as the new chief executive and managing director of Australia’s biggest department store operator, Myer Holdings.
The news comes after a turbulent period for the upmarket department store group, following the departure of its chief executive Richard Umbers in February and accelerating losses in its recent half-yearly results, released just a month ago.
In an announcement published on the Australian Securities Exchange, ASX, Myer executive chairman Garry Hounsell said: “John brings over thirty years of highly relevant retail experience across department stores, speciality retailing, premium global brands, wholesale apparel and discount retail. [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.”
King headed HoF for eight years, from 2006, culminating in its sale to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower in 2014. For the last three years, King has been living and working in the US, where he consulted for a variety of retailers and start-ups. In his new role at Myer he will be based in Melbourne.
King said: “I’m 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’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of this role.”
King’s base pay will be AUD $1.2 million per year (£657,000), with equity in the form of share rights equating to AUD $900,000 (£493,000), in addition to short-term and long-term bonuses.