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Steinhoff APAC restructures, ex-Good Guys chief appointed CEO

Michael_Ford_Steinhoff_MD_AustralasiaMichael Ford, retail veteran and former chief of white goods retailer The Good Guys, has been appointed chief executive officer for the newly formed Steinhoff Asia Pacific Group Holdings.

Steinhoff International, the Frankfurt-listed integrated global retail group, has consolidated all of Steinhoff’s existing Asia Pacific retail brands, businesses, logistics, manufacturing and group services under one management structure.

As part of the restructure, Ford will head up the Australasian division and lead Steinhoff’s “ambitious growth strategy” in the region.

In a statement, Steinhoff said the Asia Pacific region is a key area of growth for the retail conglomerate who’s APAC stable of brands includes Fantastic Furniture, Freedom, Best & Less, Snooze, Harris Scarfe, Plush, Postie and Original Mattress Factory.

In APAC, the group trades in 622 retail locations and has in excess of 10,000 staff, with retail sales exceeding A$2bn in the 2017 financial year. The group has manufacturing and assembly facilities in Australia and South East Asia which produce sofas, mattresses and casegoods for internal and external customers.

The retail conglomerate said “combining the retail brands across both the household goods and general merchandise categories under one management structure, coupled with dedicated group services, sourcing, manufacturing and logistics operations,” made both strategic and operational sense.

Steinhoff said the appointment of Ford is a central part of the growth and efficiency strategy in the region. Ford was most recently CEO of The Good Guys, a position he held for 13 years. With over 25 years of international retail management experience, Ford has also held chief executive roles with Australian retail brands including Country Road, Esprit and Jag Clothing.

During his tenure at The Good Guys, Ford navigated the company through a transition period, including the corporatisation of the business, which led to a $870 million trade sale to JB Hi-Fi. The company’s annual turnover doubled to $2bn and market share grew to 16.8 per cent in this time.

Under the restructure, Michael Gordon will continue as chief financial officer for the region, while Tim Schaafsma will continue as managing director of the Freedom and Poco chains, as will Simon Beaty as MD of Snooze.

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