Since joining Steinhoff UK's retail business eight weeks ago, Stuart Machin, Bensons for Beds and Harveys CEO, has reviewed the company's leadership structure and identified a number of additions, changes, and improvements that he believes will help the business achieve its commercial objectives, effective immediately. "Alan Williams has been appointed to the new role of COO for Bensons," he says. "Alan has given me great support and wise counsel since I joined the business. He will bring an incredible wealth of 19 years experience to his new role from his early years in Bensons and Sleepmasters. Most recently Alan has been MD of the business. "Dean Simpson has been appointed to the new role of COO for Harveys. Dean is a senior retail leader with over 25 years' experience working in food and apparel businesses across Australia, New Zealand and most recently in the Middle East. Both Alan and Dean will be responsible for leading the stores and implementing our strategies. They will be directly responsible for implementing our customer plan, our people plan, our visual merchandising strategy, and driving our sales performance. Alan and Dean also have a key role to play to ensure alignment across all marketing, buying and merchandising, and supply chain activities as well as continuing to improve our store format proposition. "Henry Swift has been appointed in a new role of CCO after previously holding the interim marketing director role. As chief customer officer, Henry will be responsible for the end to end customer journey, whilst continuing to lead marketing and public relations. In addition, he will take on responsibility for the customer services team. "David O'Connor will continue in his current role as commercial director for Harveys. David has been with us for four years. Mark Cort will continue in his current role as commercial director for Bensons. Mark has been with us for 19 years. David and Mark are responsible for all buying, merchandising, and stock decisions for their respective brands. "Kalwant Singh will continue in his role as supply chain and logistics director. Kal is responsible for the end-to-end management of supply chain and logistics for both brands. Kal has been with us for 18 months and brings deep experience from Home Retail Group. "Chily Fachler has been appointed in a new role as chief information officer. Chily's new role gives him responsibility for all IT functions, as well as special projects which include working across the wider Steinhoff UK group. Chily has been with us for two years as IT and process director and has broad experience in retail and hospitality. "Mark Jackson has been appointed finance director for both brands. Mark joined the team in Aug 2017 from Pepkor UK where he held the position of CFO. Mark brings deep experience in the furniture market as he was finance director at Heal's for a number of years. "Debbie Jones continues in her role, newly titled as head of people, talent & development. Debbie will be responsible for leading our culture and values, policies and procedures, and our talent and development programmes. I have also asked Debbie to lead communications across the business. Debbie has been with us for two years and brings broad experience from other retailers. "Jamie Danby, head of strategic programme, will now report directly to myself. His scope of responsibility will include coordinating, monitoring and driving business-wide strategic change initiatives. Jamie has been with the business for 18 months. "Chris Brougham has been appointed in a new role as project manager. Chris will support me on a daily basis on a variety of projects and administration. Chris has been with the business for 3.5 years and during this time has held roles in process & IT and warehouse & distribution." Stuart has also made a number of changes to the company's divisional general manager roster. "Following a fresh look at retail operations the following changes have been made to bolster the operations team. Sean Quinn has been appointed divisional general manager Harveys North. Sean has been with the business for 20 years, most recently as sales director. Sean therefore brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role. "Jeff Browning has been appointed divisional general manager Harveys South. Jeff joins us on 9th October. Jeff brings more than 25 years of experience in food and general merchandise retailing in Australia as well as the UK. "John Whitehead continues in his role, newly titled as divisional general manager Bensons North. John has been with the business for 10 years and has a broad knowledge of the business. Stuart Jordan continues in his role, newly titled as divisional general manager Bensons South. Stuart joined us six months ago from Vodafone. "I think this is an opportune moment to also highlight two important programmes I am focused on and committed to relating to leadership. Firstly, we will launch an internal talent development programme so our teams have an opportunity to develop their careers within our brands and the wider Steinhoff group. Secondly, we will ensure we develop and support women in leadership. I have already spoken to many of our female leaders and I will be chairing a women in leadership programme over the course of this year to ensure we improve on our gender diversity throughout the business."
By Paul Farley Oct 9, 2017