Gillam ends role as Bunnings chief executive

Wesfarmers has today announced that long-serving Bunnings chief executive officer John Gillam is stepping down as managing director of Bunnings after 12 years in the role.

Gillam, who has almost 20 years’ experience with Wesfarmers, will continue to support the Bunnings business in an advisory role. As well as providing ongoing advice and support to the business, Gillam will continue to chair the Bunnings Group Council, which was set up at the time of the Homebase acquisition to coordinate Bunnings activity across all markets, and will also join the Bunnings United Kingdom and Ireland advisory board.

Bunnings Australia and New Zealand managing director Mike Schneider and Bunnings United Kingdom and Ireland managing director Peter (PJ) Davis will now report directly to Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder, who has been at Wesfarmers since 1993 and MD/CEO since 2005. Some retail analysts expected Gillam to eventually become Bunnings chief executive. Wesfarmers bought Homebase in 2016 and is renaming the DIY/gardem centre chain as Bunnings.

Goyder paid tribute to Gillam who he said had been a massive contributor to the company over a long period of time: "John has worked in our business development team, been chief financial officer of Bunnings, company secretary of the Wesfarmers Group and managing director of CSBP, before taking over as leader of Bunnings in 2004. He was also chairman of Officeworks for eight years.

"In every role he has been outstanding and left an indelible and positive legacy. His performance at the helm of Bunnings has seen him now recognised as one of Australia’s leading retailers and Bunnings is now a national institution. The recent acquisition of Homebase in the UK and Ireland has provided our company with a new platform for long-term future growth.

"Today’s announcement demonstrates our strong talent development and succession planning. Before we acquired Homebase we spent many months bedding down a new Bunnings management structure. That structure, which has now been in place for almost a year, is serving the business well and we look forward to John’s ongoing contribution in his new more flexible advisory role."

Gillam said he had greatly enjoyed being a part of the Wesfarmers group for the best part of two decades and it was an absolute privilege to have led and worked with the wider team at Bunnings: "I firmly believe that now is the right time to pass on the leadership baton. Mike and PJ have been outstanding leaders in helping drive the growth and success of Bunnings and are well placed to take the business forward. I look forward to continuing to support the Bunnings team in an advisory capacity, while also having the opportunity in the coming years to pursue other interests."

#Meanwhile, former Wyevale Garden Centres chief executive Kevin Bradshaw is returning to his roots in car hire as new chief executive of Northgate.

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