Mitre 10 appoints Australian auto retailing veteran as new CEO

Image by Debbie Daubney, Creative Commons

Hardware retailer Mitre 10 has named Australian auto retailing veteran Chris Wilesmith as its new chief executive.

Wilesmith, who has been with auto retailer Super Retail Group since 2006 and has recently held the position of managing director, will take on the role with Mitre 10 in early September. The exact start date is still being negotiated.

As Super Retail Group’s managing director, Wilesmith was responsible for the Supercheap Auto Retail stores, trade, online and auto trade direct and AutoCrew businesses in both Australia and New Zealand.

The hardware chain’s chief financial officer Matthew Washington has been the company’s acting chief executive since the board started with the international search to replace Neil Cowie after he stepped down in February.

“This is an exciting time for our business, with every retailer challenged to adapt to a world that is rapidly changing around us,” said company chair Martin Dippie.

“Innovation, leadership and courage are required, and we see Chris as expertly placed to lead Mitre 10through the exciting times ahead,” Dippie said. “Importantly, he will also be an excellent fit for our unique and special culture.”

Wilesmith, who has previously held roles with Woolworths and Dick Smith, said he is excited to join the iconic brand that means so much to New Zealanders.


“What excites me is the Mitre 10 culture, its focus on team, community, and fascination with growing a global best practice organisation into the future for its suppliers, partners and customers to benefit from,” he said.

Wilesmith will be relocating to New Zealand with his family by September.

Cowie, the company’s former chief executive, left Mitre 10 in February 2019 after five years in the role. Dippie commended him for leading the company through a time of impressive growth and ensuring the company is in an excellent position for the future.

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