WHL previously announced its intent to relocate both the existing David Jones head office in Sydney and the Country Road Group head office in Melbourne to a single campus based in Richmond

Melbourne. Consistent with the desire to create a single entity benefitting from economies of scale and an aligned culture, we are now creating a single regional corporate structure. The region will be headed by a Chief Executive Officer with a team of regional executives covering the core operational functions plus the Chief Executive Officer of Country Road Group, and Managing Directors of David Jones Food and David Jones Clothing and General Merchandise. This allows us to benefit from Group functions whilst maintaining the independence of our key brands within the Australian group.

Commenting on the announcement, Ian Moir, WHL Group Chief Executive Officer said, “The creation of a single regional structure is the logical next step for our business. It enables the benefits and synergies of the Australian acquisitions to be fully realised and allows the creation of a single team and culture focussed on our Australian customers and driving improved shareholder returns for the WHL Group.”

John Dixon, currently Chief Executive Officer of David Jones, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer, WHL Australasia, encompassing Country Road Group and David Jones and with responsibility for the Group’s Australasian operations with effect from 1st September 2017.

In addition, the following appointments have been made to the Australasian regional leadership team, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, WHL Australasia:


  • Scott Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer of Country Road Group has been appointed to the Australasian regional leadership team.
  • Ashley Gardner, Chief Financial Officer, WHL Australasia, has been appointed to the regional leadership team.
  • David Thomas, currently Chief Operating Officer of David Jones, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, WHL Australasia, with immediate effect.
  • Gary Williams has been appointed Chief Customer Officer, WHL Australasia, with responsibility for all aspects of the customer relationship and experience. Gary is a highly experienced retail executive with a strong track record in key strategic roles with leading Australian and international consumer brands. His appointment is effective immediately.
  • John Bovill, currently Group Executive – Digital at David Jones has been appointed Head of Digital, WHL Australasia, with responsibility for digital channels.
  • David Collins, currently Group Executive – Merchandise at David Jones has been appointed Managing Director, David Jones Clothing and General Merchandise.
  • Pieter de Wet, currently Group Executive – Food at David Jones has been appointed Managing Director, David Jones Foods.
  • Darren Blankfield, currently Executive Assistant to the CEO, David Jones has been appointed Head of Strategy, WHL Australasia, in addition to his role as Executive Assistant to the CEO.

As part of the transition to the new structure, a new expanded role Head of Human Resources, WHL Australasia with responsibility for Human Resources across the Australasian business has been

created and a search is currently underway to fill this role. Sacha Laing, Chief Operating Officer of Country Road Group will be leaving the business with immediate effect. Under the new structure, Country Road Group COO responsibilities will be transferred to the CEO of Country Road Group, the COO of WHL Australasia and the CCO of WHL Australasia.

Ian Moir commented, “John Dixon has the right combination of large scale retail management experience to lead the Australasian team and I look forward to his further contribution as both the food and clothing businesses enter the next phase of their development. “I would like to extend my thanks to Sacha Laing for his contribution to the CRG business,” Moir concluded.

Commenting on his appointment, John Dixon said, “Over the past 14 months I have been impressed by both the creative talent and technical expertise in our Australasian businesses. This new regional management structure provides a platform for growth and I look forward to bringing the David Jones and Country Road teams closer together in Melbourne as we take the next step on our journey to transform and grow the Australasian businesses.”

The new regional structure will have no impact on the combined headcount of the David Jones and Country Road Group businesses with approximately 1 300 employees located at the new Australasian Head Office campus following completion. Over time, WHL expects its head office team will increase to approximately 1 500 employees.

Notes to editors:

Woolworths Holdings Limited (‘WHL’) Group is a leading southern hemisphere retail group, with its head office in South Africa, listed on the JSE Limited Securities Exchange (JSE) since 1997. It is one of the top 40 JSE-listed companies. 40% of revenue (including concession sales) is generated in Australasia. The Group consists of three major operating divisions:


  • Woolworths South Africa (Woolworths or WSA) based in South Africa and operating across 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa
  • David Jones (David Jones or DJ) based and trading in Australia and New Zealand
  • Country Road Group (Country Road Group or CRG) based in Australia and trading in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.