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Retail appointments of the week

Martin Matthews exits APG & Co amid organisational restructure

Australian fashion house APG&Co has announced that CEO Martin Matthews has left the business after only 15 months, and has been replaced by Elisha Hopkinson, effective Monday, 28 February. His departure came as part of an organisational restructuring. 

Matthews first joined the business in December 2020. Prior to APG & Co, he was CEO of Brand Collective.

“We would like to thank Martin, and acknowledge the contribution he has made over the past 15 months,” APG & Co chairperson Peter Birtles said.

“We wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.”

Hopkinson has been a part of the business for 14 years, and has been integral in developing the group strategy for the business’ brands: Sportscraft, SABA and JAG.

The Iconic appoints Dean Chadwick in new role

Lifestyle platform The Iconic has appointed its first chief customer officer, Dean Chadwick. 

Chadwick will lead the product and marketing teams; he formerly served as interim CEO of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program.

The newly created position replaces the chief marketing officer role, which has been vacant since Alexander Meyer left last November.

“The Iconic is a business I have long admired,” Chadwick said. “But it wasn’t until I met the team that I really understood exactly how ‘customer obsessed’ it truly is. Every single business decision is made with the shopper in mind, which makes the CCO position incredibly exciting.”

Scentre Group’s Peter Allen signals retirement

Scentre Group’s inaugural CEO and managing director, Peter Allen, will step down after eight years in the role. Allen will pass the title over to current CFO Elliott Rusanow on 1 October 2022, as part of a succession plan, before retiring in 2023. 

“Scentre Group is in a great position, and the time is right for new leadership to accelerate our growth ambition,” Allen said. 

“I’ve worked closely with Elliott over many years, both at Scentre Group and Westfield Group, and I am confident that he will take advantage of the many opportunities ahead.”

Scentre Group chairperson Brian Schwartz said under Allen’s leadership the business had developed a strong culture focused on its people, its customers, and its communities.

“Peter’s vision, dedication and hard work has changed the way we operate and placed Scentre Group in a strong and leading position,” Schwartz said. “His industry leadership, over many years, is to be commended.”

Australian Retailers Association commits to inclusive council

The Australian Retailers Association has announced a number of changes to its industry council that reflect its desire to deliver on diversity, equality, and inclusion in the retail space.

Wesfarmers’ managing director for digital and data, Nicole Sheffield, will serve as the council’s first woman president, alongside VP Stephen Younane, CEO of Retail Prodigy Group. 

CFO and COO at Taking Shape, Krista Diez-Simson, and APG & Co CFO Josephine Barbaro have also joined the council as members, while Super Retail Group’s chief strategy and customer officer, Katie McNamara, and Bunnings general manager for corporate affairs, Maria McCarthy, have joined as advisers. 

ARA chief executive Paul Zahra said the ARA’s council would now be made up of 60 per cent female members.

“[We] have a long and proud history, but this is the first time the organisation has had a female president, which is long overdue,” Zahra said. 

“Diversity, equality, and inclusion are core issues for us at the ARA and the Council’s equal representation of women reflects the strong commitment we have in the space, and to delivering better outcomes in the retail industry more broadly.”

Ikea announces new India CEO

Global furniture business Ikea has announced Susanne Pulverer will head up its India business, following the news that former CEO Peter Betzel will step down.

The Economic Times reported that Pulverer is the first female CEO for the business’ India branch, and that she has held a position in market development in Delhi’s NCR (New Capital Region). 

In India, Ikea operates two big-box outlets, as well as its first smaller city-centre format locations.

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