Umbers will drive Myers transformation programme over the coming years

Umbers will drive Myer's transformation programme over the coming years

Australian department store retailer Myer Holdings has promoted chief information and supply officer Richard Umbers as its new chief executive officer and managing director with immediate effect, following the resignation of Bernie Brookes.

Updating on its strategic review to transform the business for future growth, Myer said Umbers will lead a “significant programme of change and reinvigoration” to ensure it is well placed to meet the expectations of its existing and target customers, and importantly, to be able to adapt faster.

“It has become clear that to thrive in a modern retail environment, Myer must adapt more quickly and be closer to its customers,” said chairman Paul McClintock AO.

“The board and management team have agreed that the transformation work has reached a pivotal point and it is appropriate for a new CEO to be given the opportunity to own, lead and drive the transformation programme over the coming years.”

An update on the strategic review will be provided in due course as the strategy is developed in greater detail under Umbers' leadership.

Prior to joining Myer in September 2014, Umbers served as executive general manager (EGM) for Parcel and Express Services at Australia Post, and CEO for StarTrack, a road and air express logistics provider.

Brookes noted: “While there is no doubt that there are many challenges facing the business, I do believe Myer has a strong future ahead of it. After almost nine years, the time is now right for me to pass on the reins to the next leader to take the business forward.”

Meanwhile, Daniel Bracken has been appointed deputy CEO in addition to his role as chief merchandise and marketing officer. Prior to joining Myer, he served as CEO of The Apparel Group after 15 years at British luxury brand Burberry.

In addition, CFO Mark Ashby has stepped down to take up a role in the US, but will remain with the company which a decision on his replacement is made.