Longstanding Myer CEO and managing director Bernie Brookes has put pen to paper on a new, open-ended contract worth $2 million per annum, plus performance based cash and equity bonuses. At the same time, the experienced retail head as volunteered to run a merged David Jones/Myer company, should that conflation ever eventuate.
This reappointment has comes as Myer endures a topsy-turvy new year period, which has included the embarrassment of its website crashing during the Boxing Day sales and the revelation that it made a secret merger to bid to rival department store retailer David Jones, which was summarily rejected.
Under the new terms of his contract, Brookes will receive an 11.1 per cent pay increase to $2 million per annum, plus performance based bonuses, described as ‘annual short term incentives’, of up to $3 million, “based on prescribed metrics”, according to the announcement.
There is also a longterm incentive of $600,000 per annum, also based on Brookes’ performance. The contract can be terminated by Myer on the provision of 12 months notice or by Brookes with 6 months notice.
Myer chairman Paul McClintock said he was delighted to secure the continued services of a “world class retailer” to lead the publicly listed department store chain.
“I am very pleased to be able to confirm my re-commitment to the CEO role at Myer,” Brookes said. “I continue to have a passion for retail, and Myer in particular, and believe there is much I can still contribute to the business.”
Brookes, who joined Myer in June 2006, also took this opportunity to put his hand up for any future job at a merged David Jones/Myer super-company.
“Should a transaction to merge Myer and David Jones be successfully completed, I can commit to presenting myself as a potential CEO for the merged entity,” he said.
Brookes was widely criticised for his lack of action following Myer’s disastrous Boxing Day Sales online crash. Tim Burrowes, a respected media commentator at Mumbrella, said it was this diffidence to online woes that made him appear out of step with the young, cashed-up shoppers his retail chain was looking to monetise.
“In a world where Google being down for eight seconds would be remarked upon, Australia’s biggest retail brand was down for eight days,” Burrowes wrote. “But most curious was how unconcerned Myer boss Bernie Brookes seemed.”
Since then, Fairfax Newspapers have reported that Brookes submitted his resignation following comments he made linking an increase in the Medicare Levy to fund a National Disability Insurance Scheme to sales declines at Myer stores. In that instance, McClintock persuaded Brookes to stay on.
Meanwhile, Myer has received some good news from the ACCC, which has rubberstamped its store-within-store promotion concept:
Myer allows a number of merchandise and service suppliers to operate businesses within Myer stores. Such businesses are sometimes known as concessions or licensee businesses.
These ‘stores within stores’ display and sell only the brand of product promoted and sold by the relevant licensee business, and are operated independently of Myer.
“The ACCC considers that the arrangements are likely to continue to result in public benefit in the form of enhanced competition including reduced prices for consumers and through the simplification of Myer’s promotions,” said ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker.