Former Harvey Norman Ireland CEO to head Freedom

Amid growth plans.

Greenlit Brands has appointed former Harvey Norman Ireland CEO, Blaine Callard as CEO of Freedom, effective 19 August, 2019.

Callard is an accomplished retail executive with over 20 years’ experience across a range of operational and strategic roles at Harvey Norman.

As CEO of Harvey Norman Ireland for the past eight years, he oversaw its successful strategic turnaround with a return to profitability, a strengthening of its gross operating margins and a reinvigoration of its brand in Ireland.

He brings an impressive track record of retail success to Freedom. His experience, knowledge and leadership capabilities will be critical as Greenlit Brands continues to reinvigorate its flagship household goods brands, led by Freedom and Fantastic Furniture.

Greenlit Brands CEO, Michael Ford said, “Attracting a retail executive of the calibre of Blaine Callard to Greenlit Brands is significant. I believe it attests to the underlying strength of our group, our corporate strategy, the formidable position that we today occupy and the opportunity we have to grow in the retail sector in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have made significant headway since our rebranding and our refinancing initiatives late last year. We continue to carefully consider strategic options while methodically implementing key strategic initiatives like this across the Group. I look forward to this continuing with Blaine onboard.”

Greenlit Brands group CEO of household goods, Debra Singh said, “I am delighted and excited to welcome Blaine to our group. His appointment is a real coup for us. He will bring a real sense of innovation and drive to Freedom, particularly as the retail sector in our markets continue to evolve and challenge incumbent retailers.

“Blaine’s appointment to Freedom is a key part of our broader strategy with our household goods division. We are actively supporting and equipping our teams with the right strategies, resources and people to enable them to grow market share across all retail platforms, be they traditional bricks and mortar or digital, to create a seamless customer experience.

“Blaine has a superb track record on this front, most recently from his turnaround of the Harvey Norman brand in Ireland. I look forward to working with him as we take Freedom to the next stage of its evolution.”

Commenting on his appointment, Callard said, “I am really excited to be joining Freedom at this time. It is an iconic brand with an enviable heritage built over 38 years. I am a firm believer that great retail will always thrive and at the heart of great retail is people. Freedom has a fabulous brand heritage to grow from in this regard with a coveted market position, store footprint, culture and DNA. I look forward to making a real and meaningful contribution to Freedom.”

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