Terry Smart today announced he would retire as CEO of JB Hi-Fi in August and he will be replaced by the company’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Murray.
In a statement released by the company today, the Board of JB Hi-Fi paid tribute to Smart and said the company would be in good hands under the stewardship of Murray, who has been CFO for more than 10 years and a director since 2012.
JB Hi-Fi Chairman Greg Richards said Smart has been a critical part of the company’s success over the past 14 years.
“On behalf of our shareholders, the Board would like to express its thanks and appreciation to Terry for his huge contribution to the company, in some of the most challenging and unpredictable years in the retail industry.
“As CEO, Terry has driven JB Hi-Fi revenue from $2.7 billion to an expected $3.5 billion this year. He has continued the successful store roll-out program, taken JB Hi-Fi into the $4.6 billion home appliance market with the launch and growth of the JB Hi-Fi Home stores, reinforced the company’s strong online presence and overseen the launch of the JB Hi-Fi Now digital content platform,” Richards said.
Smart said the decision to leave was a difficult one but after a total of nearly 30 years in retail he is now looking forward to spending some more time with his family.
“JB Hi-Fi has been an incredibly important part of my life, having been involved in the growth of the company from 10 stores to the 182 stores we have today. But the decision is made easier because the company is in a strong position. With great growth opportunities ahead, combined with the best retail management team in the market, I know the company will continue to see long term success,” he said.
Future CEO Richard Murray joined the company as CFO and Company Secretary in 2003 and took JB Hi-Fi through its initial public offering that year.
Speaking on beahlf of the Board, Richards said they were confident Murray would build on Smart’s achievements and is a credit to the company’s succession planning.
“The Board is delighted in having a candidate of the calibre of Richard Murray within our own ranks and we look forward to Richard putting his own stamp on the company while continuing with the current strategy,” Richards said.
Murray will receive an annual salary of $1.1 million, to be reviewed at the end of the 2015 financial year.
Murray said he was honoured and excited by the challenge of leading the team and made reference to further developing the company’s online and digital platforms.
“JB Hi-Fi is in a strong and competitive position. We have many opportunities to grow the business as we continue the store roll out, expand JB Hi-Fi Home, further develop our online and digital platform and build our commercial and education division. I look forward to working with Terry over the next three months to ensure a smooth and successful transition,” Murray said.
Smart has agreed not to work for any of JB Hi-Fi’s competitors for 12 months and in return for this “restraint” and “successful stewardship during one of the most challenging periods in retail” will receive a one-off bonus of $1,925,000.
Group financial controller Nick Wells will replace Murray as CFO.