Retail appointments of the week

Leah Weckert named new CEO of Coles; Steven Cain to retire

By Rakshnna Pattabiraman

Leah Weckert has been appointed as Coles’ new MD and CEO, effective May 1.

Outgoing CEO Steven Cain has announced his retirement and will remain with the company for an interim period to facilitate an easy transition of executive responsibilities.

“I would like to thank the Coles board, team and our many partners for their support, insights and resilience – particularly during Covid, bushfires and floods. I would like to congratulate Leah on becoming my successor and I wish Coles continued success, and know that the best is yet to come,” said Cain.

Coles chairman James Graham thanked Cain for his service and said he played a vital role in leading the company through a challenging Covid period.

“Steven successfully steered the group through the demerger, developed and pursued a strategy which has seen it become one of the most trusted brands in Australia,” Graham said.

He added that Weckert’s appointment ensures the group is “well-positioned” to continue its long-term competitive and sustainable performance.

“Leah has an outstanding track record of leadership and driving change inside Coles across key operating areas of the business. I am confident that Leah will maintain the focus of Coles in driving our strategy, building trust with all stakeholders and growing long-term shareholder value.”

Weckert has been a senior member of the executive leadership team since the demerger of Coles from Wesfarmers in 2018.

She has also held several leading positions within the group including chief executive of commercial and express, CFO, people and culture director and state GM of Victorian supermarkets.

“I am very honoured to be appointed as the next CEO of Coles, which has been such an important part of Australian retailing for more than 100 years, and play a part in its ongoing contribution to the Australian community.”

Oroton names new chief commercial officer

By Anil Prabha

An experienced marketer and leader in the travel industry, Jennifer Vandekreeke has commenced a new role as chief commercial officer of Oroton Group. 

Announcing the move on LinkedIn, Vandekreeke said her goal is to drive growth and continue the legacy of the beloved Australian fashion brand.

“I’ll be leading the charge across commercial and brand strategy, in our 50 retail stores, and driving marketing, digital, e-commerce and PR,” she noted.

She went on to say that one of the reasons she jumped at the opportunity was the extraordinary design vision of Oroton’s creative director, Sophie Holt, who has transformed the brand’s offerings with her unique blend of joy, beauty and utility.

Farfetch CFO to step down by end 2023

By Anil Prabha

Luxury online retailer Farfetch has announced that Elliot Jordan will step down by the end of 2023, after serving for more than eight years as its CFO.

The company will initiate a search to identify his successor, and Jordan will serve as the company’s CFO for the remainder of the year.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the last eight years as chief financial officer of Farfetch and couldn’t be more proud of all we’ve achieved in that time,” Jordan said in a statement. 

He added that he is grateful for the experience of working with Jose Neves, Farfetch’s founder, CEO and chairman, and all the talented individuals in the company.

“Farfetch is at an exciting moment in its history with the business poised to achieve significant milestones in the next few years and I look forward to handing over a company with such a strong balance sheet and robust cash generation potential,” he concluded.

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