business

Myer CEO Umbers Steps Down After Three-Year 69% Stock Slide

Updated on
  • Australian retailer last week said trading had deteriorated
  • Myer Chairman says company is ‘impatient for a turnaround’

Richard Umbers

Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Myer Holdings Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Richard Umbers stepped down after a three-year tenure marked by shrinking profits and a share slump that wiped out most of the retailer’s market value. The stock rose.

Shares in the Melbourne-based department store chain plummeted 69 percent under Umbers, who took over on March 2, 2015, compared with a 1.2 percent decline on Australia’s benchmark index. Myer last week said trading had deteriorated further and it couldn’t give a specific range for full-year profit.

Chairman Garry Hounsell has been appointed executive chairman with immediate effect, Myer said in a statement Wednesday.

“We are impatient for a turnaround in the company’s performance and the board has determined that it is in the interests of all shareholders for there to be a fresh approach to drive our future direction,” Hounsell said.

Myer shares climbed 4.7 percent to 56 Australian cents at 10:28 a.m. in Sydney on Wednesday, valuing the company at A$458 million ($360 million).

— With assistance by Matthew Burgess

(Updates with today’s stock price gain in the fifth paragraph.)
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