Michael Hill hires Specialty Fashion CEO

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill has hired Specialty Fashion Group’s head Daniel Bracken as its new chief executive.

Bracken will replace current CEO Phil Taylor who is stepping down for health reasons. Taylor will remain with the firm in a consulting capacity for six months to help smooth the transition.

Bracken’s appointment will begin on November 15 and it includes a six-month probationary period. There is no fixed term.

Bracken, a former Myer deputy chief executive who oversaw Specialty Fashion’s sale of the Katies, Millers, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers retail brands to Noni B, has more than 25 years’ experience in retail and fashion across many brands, products and geographies.

Michael Hill said on Friday that Taylor, who has worked at the company for more than three decades, has been diagnosed with a health issue and resigned to focus on treatment and recovery.

Taylor led Michael Hill’s recent exit from its loss-making US business and closed most of its ailing Emma & Roe stores to refocus on the core Michael Hill brand.

“Phil’s leadership during his period as chief executive has been outstanding in what has been a period of recalibration and repositioning for the company,” chair Emma Hill said in a statement.

Hill said Bracken’s international experience with Burberry London will be valuable as Michael Hill plans to open a minimum of 10 new stores in Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the current financial year.

“Daniel’s global experience and strong commitment to create engaged customer centric brands is aligned with the board’s commitment to see Michael Hill become a globally relevant leader in the premium jewellery category,” Hill said.

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