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Richard Murray talks transition to Premier

Premier Retail chairman Solomon Lew and CEO Richard Murray. (Source: Supplied)

Long-standing JB Hi-Fi chief executive Richard Murray’s time at the head of the electronics giant ends today, following a transition period bringing incoming boss Terry Smart into the top position.

It’s still unclear when Murray will take up his new job leading Premier Retail, but he sat down with Australian Retailers’ Association boss Paul Zahra to discuss the move.

On Zahra’s Retail Therapy podcast, Murray said the opportunity to work with a new business after almost two decades at JB was incredibly exciting.

“It’s an interesting time,” Murray said.

“I’ve spent more than half my life at JB… but to close one chapter at JB which has been such an awesome part of my life and open a new chapter is really exciting.”

The reason Murray left JB, after leading the business to become one of Australia’s most successful retailers, came down to a decision around what he wanted to do next: Ten years at Deloitte and 18 at JB Hi-Fi had left him in a position where he had achieved a lot, but there were new opportunities to tackle elsewhere.

“[This is] a good opportunity to try a different type of retail, I’m really excited,” Murray said.

“And if you think about what Premier Investments is. [It’s got] an investment in Breville, it’s got an investment in Myer, it’s got Peter Alexander, Smiggle, the Just Group business, so we’ve got a lot of things happening in that business. And Sol definitely wants to grow the business.

“I think the basics are the same… The products are different, but the reality is that retail is detail: There’s a lot of clichés in retail, but giving the customer what they want is a pretty good place to start.”

JB Hi-Fi chairman Stephen Goddard thanked Murray for his time at the business, and wished him all the best for the future.

“[We’re looking] forward to Terry taking on the role of Group CEO and continuing to deliver on the group’s previous success.”

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