Former Dick Smith Boss Nick Aboud Wants A Crack At Running Myer
Nick Aboud The former boss of collapsed retailer Dick Smith, whi is now believed to be running a coffee shop in Mosman, NSW, has been approached to have a crack at taking on the top job at Myer.
Aboud’s claim to fame is that he drove Dick Smith into the ground and administration and is now facing a grilling in the Supreme Court as ASIC moves to take action against several directors following the collapse of Dick Smith, these directors reported to Aboud.
When Aboud left Myer, he told colleagues that he saw himself as the “heir apparent” at the mass retailer but after being passed over for the top job quit to join Anchorage Capital.
The current frontrunner is former David Jones boss Paul Zahra, who believes that he has the solution to fixing Myers problems with a strategy based around a move back to selling premium brands.
Myer confirmed to The Australian yesterday it had hired Spencer Stuart to find a replacement for Richard Umbers, who was axed as chief executive last week.
Mr Abboud was the chief executive appointed by Anchorage Capital Partners to take Dick Smith to the market after the private equity firm acquired the electronics retailer from Woolworths for $90 million in 2012 and floated it with a market value of $520m the following year.
Despite several ill-fated strategies that included house brands and a move into appliances Dick Smith under Aboud collapsed into receivership in early 2016 and market analysts believe the fallout may have tarnished what was previously a reputation as a well-regarded and strong performing retail boss with substantial experience with negotiating retail leases.
The Dick Smith case was referred to ASIC and in public examinations held two years ago, a point of focus was how rebates were accounted for from suppliers.
Observers have told ChannelNews that at this stage Zahra is the candidate to hire due to his knowledge gained running Dick Smith. Other observers claim it was Zara’s strategies that over time led to a big decline in David Jones sales resulting in the Company being acquired by South African based Woolworths.
The former David Jones boss was second-in charge to Mark McInnes before Mr McInnes stepped down. Mr McInnes now runs the retail investments of Premier Investments, the retail empire of billionaire Solomon Lew. Premier Investments is an activist shareholder on the Myer register.
Some believe the appointment of Mr Zahra may serve to repair the fractious relations between Myer and its major shareholder, which is agitating for boardroom change.
Myer shares fell to new lows on Monday after Mr Lew criticised Mr Hounsell amid a backdrop of profit downgrades and concerns around large lease liabilities.