By Claire Reilly
Dick Smith’s managing director, Debra Singh, is set to depart in August following 11 years working with the company. The Australian Financial Review reported that Singh announced her resignation in a memo to staff, saying it was time to leave the group “with the divestment of Dick Smith close to completion”.
Singh took on the role in 2008, the same year that Woolworths conducted a full refurbishment of its national store network. The company also announced that year that it would roll out a new brand positioning and new website design which then then CEO and MD of Woolworths, Michael Luscombe, said was to help “keep Dick Smith relevant to its customer base”.
However, despite attempts to revive the Dick Smith brand, Woolworths Limited’s new CEO, Grant O'Brien, confirmed in November last year that the retailer had been placed under formal review.
“There is a long tail of underperforming stores with a tough sector undergoing significant change globally and experiencing a high level of price deflation,” O’Brien said. “As a consequence, we have initiated a full strategic review, aided by industry experts, of all options to validate our existing strategy or to suggest an alternative to deliver shareholder value.”
Following this announcement, O’Brien confirmed in January this year that Woolworths would sell Dick Smith and that the retailer’s future “could be better realised through new ownership”. The company confirmed that up to 100 stores would be closed and, since March 2012, Dick Smith has closed 27 stores as it has looked to restructure the business.
According to the AFR, the full sale of the business is expected to be wrapped up within the next two weeks.
Speaking about Singh’s departure, CEO Grant O’Brien said she was to be “commended on her leadership of the Dick Smith business and most recently throughout the divestment process”.
Debra Singh has announced her resignation from Dick Smith.