The company on Monday said Umbers would lead “a significant program of change and re-invigoration” to adapt Myer to the modern retail environment and win back customers.
Myer CFO, Mark Ashby, will also leave the retailer to take up a role overseas, and Daniel Bracken has been appointed deputy CEO in addition to his current role as chief merchandise and marketing officer.
Myer chairman, Paul McClintock, said, “It has become clear that to thrive in a modern retail environment, Myer must adapt more quickly and be closer to its customers.”
“A strategic review has been ongoing for some time, with a view to reshaping the business for a profitable, sustainable future. The addition of highly experienced executives last year has brought a broad range of perspectives to the strategic review .Based on this work it has become evident that a transformation project of the scale required to achieve the board’s vision will take a number of years to implement,” McClintock said.
“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 program over the coming years.
“Already in his time at Myer, Richard has demonstrated that he is a contemporary retailer with the clear ability to reshape Myer in a new retail landscape. He has broad international experience across the retail sector and, importantly, success in leading business transformation,” McClintock said.
Brookes said the time was now “right to pass on the reins to the next leader to take the business forward” after nine years with the department store.
“Myer is a fantastic company with an iconic brand and legacy that I remain incredibly passionate about. While there is no doubt that there are many challenges facing the business, I do believe Myer has a strong future ahead of it,” Brookes said.