May 4, 2018
The Managing Director of the Australian office supplies retailer is to step down at the end of the year.
Mark Ward has been in his position for the last eleven years, but will retire at the end of 2018, becoming the third senior executive in what Inside Retail calls the “Wesfarmers talent stable” to do so.
His announcement follows the retirement of PJ Davis, the Head of Bunnings UK & Ireland, earlier this year, and the declaration of Coles Managing Director John Durkan that he will also step aside at the end of the year. Both companies, like Officeworks, are subsidiaries of Wesfarmers.
These in turn follow the exit of the parent company’s managing director Richard Goyder and CFO Terry Bowen.
Discussing his departure, Ward said the “time was right” for a new helmsman at Officeworks, and said: “Collectively we have come a long way on our purpose of ’helping to make bigger things happen’, but we still have much to do in an ever changing and highly competitive environment. I am very confident that, with the quality of Officeworks’ team and the plans now in place, Officeworks can continue to grow and be successful.”
After stepping down, Ward will join Wesfarmers’ newly-established analytics advisory board, and will also be a member of the Bunnings Australia & New Zealand board, where he will lead a safety improvement project.
Paying tribute, Wesfarmers Managing Director Robb Scott praised Ward – whose accomplishments at the retailer include “embracing multi-channel retail initiatives” and “expanding into a range of new-to-market technology products” – as “outstanding” and called him “a highly valued member of our leadership team.”
“He has been a brilliant leader of Officeworks in a distinctively quiet and unassuming way,” he continued. “Officeworks has been an incredibly successful retailer for many years. In an industry sector where many of the competitors have struggled or disappeared, Officeworks has gone from strength to strength.”
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