Powell sets resignation date as Warehouse Group begin CEO search

Mark Powell resigns from his post, with the company embarking on a formal process to recruit his successor.

The Warehouse Group CEO Mark Powell has resigned from his post, with the company embarking on a formal process to recruit his successor.

As part of The Warehouse Group’s annual succession planning cycle last year, Powell indicated to the Board that he did not foresee himself continuing in the role beyond February 2016.

Consequently, this will allow up to 10 months to ensure a planned and orderly succession process.

“When I took this role I never saw myself doing it for more than the four to five years required to establish a new strategic platform and culture for the future,” Powell says.

“The last four years have been personally very fulfilling. The Group is now very different. Customers and the team have seen the positive difference.

“The challenge in the next strategic cycle is to fully translate this platform into profitable growth for our shareholders in the future. I know we have the team in place to do this.”

Powell has been Group CEO for over four years and has led an extensive strategic reshaping of the Group including the rejuvenation of the Red Sheds stores through a $100m store refresh program and a significant improvement in the customer offer, product quality and service, delivering 17 quarters of sales growth.

Powell has also made strides in the area of online and digital retailing, making The Warehouse Group New Zealand’s leading retailer in this space as well as the broadening of the Group’s strategic options through the acquisition of Noel Leeming and Torpedo 7.

“I want to thank Mark for his leadership of the Group during a period of unprecedented change,” adds Ted Van Arkel, Chair, The Warehouse Group.

“Much has been achieved and I am confident that the strong base that has been built has set us up for future success.

“Mark’s commitment to work with us over the next ten months will ensure there is smooth leadership succession for the Group.”

Powell also initiated the establishment of a financial services strategy, designed to add value across the Group in the longer term as well as putting the Group’s Community focus, a legacy of founder Sir Stephen Tindall, right back at the heart of the Group’s strategy.

According to The Warehouse Group Founder and New Zealander of the Year, Sir Stephen Tindall, Powell has made a “tremendous contribution” to the company.

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“His goal was to drive this phase of the strategic journey by starting with the customer and putting a real focus on people, culture and a clear way of working,” he adds.

“This has provided the strategic path and investment required to transition the business from Red and Blue into a broader Group encompassing new businesses, including financial services.

“At the same time he addressed the changing market needs with online and digital demands. Mark has positioned the business well for a new leader to take the Group on the next phase of its strategic journey and drive the results from these investments."

When asked what he would do next year when he has finished, Powell insists he will not be seeking another executive role.

Read more: The Warehouse launches shopping app

“Instead I will look to apply my knowledge, skills and experience where I can to help in my areas of passion, both in the faith based not-for-profit sector and as a Professional Company Director,” he adds.

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