Michael Pascoe writes:

John Fletcher could be on to something in
selling off Myer – maybe he should flog Target next, then K-Mart, then Coles
and so on until the whole mess is cleaned out and the cash returned to
shareholders.

It’s beginning to look like the present
board and management would be better off letting other people buy and run the
shops.

Fletcher admitted he didn’t know anything
about retailing when he took on the top job at Coles Myer.
His success rate in appointing key executives is beginning to suggest
he
doesn’t know much about hiring the right people who are supposed to
know about
it.

One day soon, the Coles Myer board might
have to start asking if they know how to appoint the right CEO. Today’s
results and the ongoing management uncertainty raise that question. Fletcher
has made gains in a number of areas at Coles Myer, but Woolworths’
out-performance keeps moving the goal posts away from him in food and liquor
while Gerry Harvey’s success elsewhere doesn’t help either.

There’s no shortage of people saying what
results need to be achieved

but there’s a big shortage of executives who can deliver them.

At least with Myer sold off, Fletch won’t
have to cop the flak that’s already heading the new owners’ way. An American
retailing academic, Douglas Tigert, takes aim in today’s Oz
at the new team’s announced strategy – and he makes a lot of sense too.

Peter Fray

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