New management for David Jones and Country Road


According to a statement by Woolworths Holdings Limited, Paul Zahra, CEO and managing director of David Jones, announced his resignation with immediate effect from both posts, but agreed to stay for three months to assist the Woolworths board and management in the handover of business.

“[Zahra] has done a great deal to create a strong and profitable business and provide Woolworths with a sound platform for future growth. I’m pleased that [Zahra] has agreed to stay for a period to support Iain Nairn with the handover and we wish him well for the future,” Woolworths Holdings has said in a statement.

[DATA WHL:Woolworths Holdings Limited] is a South African retail chain store with over 400 stores in the country.


(WATCH VIDEO: David Jones shareholders approve Woolworths takeover)

Zahra’s role as CEO will now be filled by Iain Nairn, who was previously chief executive officer of Country Road, as well as chief executive officer of the Witchery Group before its acquisition by Country Road in 2012.

Nairn brings 30 years of experience in specialty fashion and department stores in Australia and internationally.

David Thomas, former chief operating officer of the Country Road Group, will move over to the David Jones management structure in the same capacity.

“As chief operating officer [Thomas] has played a significant role in the integration of the Witchery Group before which he served as chief financial officer of Country Road Limited.  He has 14 years’ experience in the retail sector serving in financial, operational and strategic roles,” Woolworths Holdings said in a statement.

(WATCH VIDEO: Woolworths plans Country Road buyout)

Matt Keogh, who was previously the managing director of Witchery Group, an Australian fashion retailer, has been appointed the CEO of the Country Road Group with immediate effect. 

Keogh brings 25 years’ experience in specialty retail and hospitality management. Keogh has also worked in senior executive roles within Woolworths in South Africa and Country Road in Australia for the past 10 years.