Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The CEO of Woolworths’s Australian department store chain David Jones has resigned after less than two years in the job, and the JSE-listed retailer is now headhunting its fourth CEO for its Australian chain since it acquired it in 2014.

In a two-paragraph statement issued on Thursday morning, Woolworths said David Thomas had resigned with immediate effect for personal reasons — echoing the departure of Iain Nairn who resigned for personal reasons shortly after the SA group acquired David Jones.

Nairn was replaced by John Dixon, who was subsequently promoted to Woolworths’s overall CEO of its Australian operations.

In April 2017, Woolworths announced a structure in which Thomas was promoted to David Jones CEO, and he, along with Country Road CEO Scott Fyfe, reported to Dixon.

But then in May 2018, Woolworths announced it had decided to eliminate Dixon’s position, and Thomas and Fyfe would now report directly to the group’s CEO, Ian Moir.

In Thursday’s statement, Woolworths said Moir will work directly with the David Jones management team until Thomas’s replacement is announced in due course.

laingr@businesslive.co.za