David Jones CEO and managing director Paul Zahra has decided to remain in the role - reversing plans announced last year to step down from the Australian department store retailer.

In a statement released today (11 March), the company said it has ended an external search for a successor.

Zahra, who has been with the retailer for more than 15 years, took the helm three years ago when it was facing a range of difficult issues. He has since overseen the transformation of David Jones as a omni-channel retailer and is positioning the business for long-term growth. 

Zahra has the "full and unwavering" support of the board and shareholders, newly-appointed chairman Gordon Cairns said.

"We are firmly of the belief that Paul confirming his commitment to remaining as CEO and managing director of David Jones is in the best interests of the company and shareholders." 

Cairns replaced Peter Mason as chairman of the company yesterday.