Big W exec rumoured to be next Dick Smith CEO

Dick smithA top executive at Big W has resigned from the embattled discount retailer to join electronics chain Dick Smith as its director of retail operations.

Big W’s head of trade and family entertainment Algy Pereira, who previously led Myer’s electrical and entertainment division, resigned on Tuesday.

Pereira was rumoured to be a candidate for CEO, Nick Abboud, who has overseen the electronic stores’ dramatic decline in value.

However, Rob Murray, Dick Smith chairman, has put a stop to rumours that Abboud had been given four months notice and reiterated that there is no intent to replace Abboud at a time when Christmas trading and a strategic review are focus areas for the company. This is not to say senior executive changes at a later date are not on the cards though.


A statement from Dick Smith on Wednesday said Pereira would add a great deal to the company as its director of retail operations.

“He is a great senior hire who brings fantastic experience and capabilities to the business,” the statement said.

“We are excited about the impact his appointment will have.”

Big W issued a statement thanking Pereira for his contribution in the past two years.

Dick Smith had nearly $90 million wiped off its market value on Monday and has lost more than 80 per cent of its value this year after a sales downturn forced it to abandon its profit forecast.

The retailer slashed up to $8 million off its full year net profit guidance on Monday, saying earnings would likely fall between $45 million and $48 million.

It said a sales slump in October and November had left it with excess stock and a possible $60 million writedown.

As a result, its shares tumbled to a record low of 28 cents on Monday.

Shares in Dick Smith were up about 18 per cent, or 6.5 cents at 41.5 cents on Wednesday.

The retailer is expected to rid itself of excessive electronics inventory through discounting and thereby fuelling a pre-Christmas electronics price war, which JB Hi-Fi has refuted.

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