Architect of JB Hi-Fi success goes out on top

By Paul Hayes

MELBOURNE, VIC: Richard Uechtritz has walked out of the JB Hi-Fi boardroom as a director for the final time, with last Friday formally marking the end of his extraordinarily successful time with the company.

In his ten years as managing director and chief executive, JB Hi-Fi’s revenue grew from $145 million to a forecast $2.8 billion in FY2010, with the company going from obscurity to the top of the Australian retail food chain. The retailer’s 2010 profit forecast is for between $117 million and $120 million.

Uechtritz will be replaced by long time JB Hi-Fi chief operating officer, Terry Smart, who has previously been responsible for store retail operations, inventory management and systems development.

“Terry has been part of the JB success story,” Uechtritz told in February.

“He knows what makes JB a great company and he can do the role and be a wonderful CEO.”

JB Hi-Fi announced on Friday that in ceasing to be a director Uechtritz still has one million shares in the company, believed to be worth around $18 million, as well as 621,923 further options.

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