By Patrick Avenell

MELBOUNE, VIC: Richard Uechtritz will rejoin the JB Hi-Fi team in late April, with the former CEO and managing director returning as a non-executive director. Uechtritz is also a non-executive director of Seven Group Holdings.

Uechtritz has been a near-constant figure in JB’s incredible rise from obscurity to market leadership, first joining the company in a management buy-in in 2000 and then running the listed entity from its public float through until February 2010. Upon Terry Smart’s succession, Uechtritz acted as a consultant, although it was always indicated that he would return to the inner circle sometime in 2011.

“The board is looking forward to Richard re-engaging as a director,” said chairman Patrick Elliot in a statement. “Richard is highly regarded, has an outstanding record in retail and will add further depth to the board.”

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Also joining the JB team as a non-executive director is chartered accountant Beth Laughton. Due to start in late May 2011, Laughton has previously worked for Ord Minnett, HSBC and Wilson HTM.

Departing the team is Will Fraser, who has announced his retirement after eight years with the retail giant. Elliott thanked Fraser for his contribution and wished him well for the future.