Bernie Brookes leaves Myer

BernieBrookesMyer boss, Bernie Brookes, has stepped down as CEO of the department store giant and has been replaced by the retailer’s supply chain chief, Richard Umbers, effective immediately.

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.



  1. Peter posted on March 2, 2015

    Myer needs to get back to the basic principles of retail and then improve on those principles. The Myer business model is fundamentally flawed and they have not moved on, they are still trying to be everything to everyone and now with so much competition in the category killer ranges they do not have the room nor the stock to carry the ranges that the specialty stores do. They cannot charge a premium price for items unless the stores, staff, knowledge and presentation reflect it. At this point in time they are lost and are dismally fading away like their customers. It will take years to turn them around and their brand, their brand has been devalued immensely over the last 12 years as they have lost their older core generation that would shop there and the new generation has far more choice and brand loyalty at other stores that are doing things better. It can be done but will the new guy be able to do it is the question.

    • Michael Ratner posted on March 2, 2015

      I wonder if the basic principles of retail still apply. Myer can hopefully improve but it might too little too late. They are going to have to play catch up with David Jones who haven't hit their South African strides yet. Their is some hope because they are anchor tenants in many big shopping centres and in a very brave mood they might have to start competing with the other minor chains who are stuck in the same rut through trepidation . It's sink or swim time. No more same old, same old. Retail favours the brave without respect for market share. And I would assume that Myers occupancy cost are more favourable than general retailers. Great opportunity for the new management. surely it can't get worse.

Comment Manually


The worst case scenario for many retailers came to fruition on Monday afternoon, when Victorian Premier Daniel Andr…

4 days ago

Retail in Melbourne to be forced to close from 11:59pm this Wednesday. Contactless click-and-collect and online del…

5 days ago

Macca's stores around the world are getting a makeover. We go behind the scenes with the design agency that created…

5 days ago