Trouble in store for incoming Myer boss Olivia Wirth as two top executives decide to head back to UK

Cheyanne Enciso
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Incoming Myer chief executive Olivia Wirth.
Incoming Myer chief executive Olivia Wirth. Credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Incoming Myer chief executive Olivia Wirth has lost two key lieutenants just months before she takes on the department store’s top job — despite having had no retail experience.

Myer on Friday told staff in an internal email, seen by The West Australian, that chief merchandise officer Allan Winstanley and executive general manager of supply chain Tony Carr have formally advised they will be leaving the retailer in the second half of the year. Following their departure from Australia, they will both return to Britain to be closer to their families.

The exits strike a serious blow to Ms Wirth — who took on the chair role with immediate effect last week following the resignation of Ari Mervis — with both executives among the most senior in the business. It was also announced last week former Qantas loyalty boss Ms Wirth would assume chief executive responsibilities when outgoing boss John King departs in June.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.
Executive general manager of supply chain Tony Carr has resigned.
Executive general manager of supply chain Tony Carr has resigned. Credit: Linkedin/Linkedin

The moves have the blessing of Myer’s biggest shareholder, veteran retailer Solomon Lew.

In his email to staff on Friday, Mr King said Mr Carr informed him of his departure late last year and Mr Winstanley in February. “After the recent company announcements they both indicated they will provide flexibility in their leaving dates to provide as much support as they can to Olivia and the executive team as we enter a new phase of growth within the business,” Mr King said.

Mr King’s exit will come a year after he announced he would leave the top job in the second half of 2024 to return to the US to be with family for health reasons.

Mr Winstanley is responsible for overseeing how Myer’s fashion and apparels are stocked in-store, while Mr Carr looks after the how the products get there.

Chief merchandise officer Allan Winstanley has resigned.
Chief merchandise officer Allan Winstanley has resigned. Credit: Linkedin/Linkedin

Mr King highlighted the importance of the two senior executives.

“With their teams, Allan and Tony have been instrumental in the delivery of the Customer First Plan and the transformation of our business and, having worked with them both over many years and at different organisations, I am enormously proud and thankful of what has been achieved in their areas of the business,” Mr King said. “Importantly, they are supported by strong leadership teams in their respective areas, which will allow us the appropriate time to undertake a comprehensive recruitment process and ensure we retain the momentum building across these important parts of our business.

It comes after Myer reported a 3 per cent fall in total sales for the first half of the financial year to $1.8 billion.

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 14-06-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 14 June 202414 June 2024

Tesla investors deliver Elon Musk an 11-cylinder salary.