Kirkaldie’s new man at helm

kirkcaldieThe directors of Kirkcaldie & Stains, the upscale Wellington department store, have announced that Philip Shewell will relinquish his position as acting CEO effective June 30.

The company’s financial controller, Orsola Del Sante-Bland, has been appointed as acting CEO to lead the management team of Kirkcaldie & Stains during the transition period until February 1.

Del Sante-Bland will assume the role of acting CEO on July 1.

Kirkcaldie & Stains named former managing director Philip Shewell as acting CEO while it searched for a replacement for John Milford, who resigned in December after eight years, and ended his tenure in April.

Shewell was a director of the company until February last year and ran the business more than a decade ago. He started on April 8.

The listed flagship department store recorded a $6.5 million loss last year, after reporting a $168,000 profit the previous year. A $4.3 million loss on the sale of the Harbour City Centre and various write-downs caused the loss, which followed a 3.8 per cent decline in revenue, to $31.3 million.

The board is considering three options to return the business to profitability: a focus on a retail turnaround, which would take three-to-five years and considerable investment, downsizing, or divesting the business altogether, but won’t make a decision until after the CEO appointment.

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