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Phil Leahy steps down as CEO of Retail Global to focus on new venture

Seventeen years after launching Retail Global, Phil Leahy (top row, second from right) is stepping down from his role as CEO of the retail events business to focus on MedCart, an online marketplace for medical supplies that he started during Covid-19. 

“To be back in e-commerce, especially in the role of leading a new marketplace, is so much fun! I have missed the thrill of retail,” Leahy wrote about the move on LinkedIn. 

“We are currently hiring new people and it’s exciting. I’m proud to continue to serve merchants, this time by delivering a new sales channel. The feedback from customers, retailers, sellers and wholesalers brings such joy.”

While he will remain an executive director of Retail Global, Leahy will no longer be involved in running the organisation day-to-day. Ashley Hudson, previously group CFO, will step into the CEO role, with Luke Rowohlt becoming chief operations officer. 

“I look forward to seeing how Ashley and Luke take the baton and run with it, continuing to expand our team of event professionals. Their leadership and support during the pandemic was inspiring. The results speak loudly,” Leahy wrote. 

While it was forced to cancel its regular in-person events during Covid-19, Retail Global pivoted to delivery content online. More than 10,000 people tuned in to its virtual events in October alone, Leahy wrote.  

Valentino names new CEO for Southeast Asia, Australia

Maison Valentino has tapped Alessandra Andreani to be CEO of Southeast Asia and Australia, effective October 18, 2021.

Reporting to chief commercial officer Marco Giacometti, Andreani will be responsible for reinforcing the Italian luxury fashion brand’s presence in the region, with a main focus on Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Thailand. 

She will direct the brand in a newly evolving phase, while promoting the client and colleague-centric strategy and implementing brand awareness at a local level. Her first main challenge will be the new opening of the Valentino flagship store in Sydney, which is scheduled for the first half of 2022.

Andreani brings extensive international experience within the fashion and luxury

industry, including stints at Prada, Marc Jacobs and Loewe, where she was CEO Japan and then managing director for China.

Myer board spill avoided, two new directors appointed

Department store Myer failed to avoid a second strike after its Remuneration Report received only ~65 per cent of shareholder votes, triggering a board spill that was ultimately avoided.

The business put the motion of a board spill to its shareholders, which if approved would require the business to hold a ‘spill meeting’ within 90 days that could see its board scattered if not re-elected. The motion was voted down, however, with 62 per cent of shareholders supporting the current board and management team.

Myer’s proposed board changes also went through shareholder approval undeterred by Solomon Lew’s campaign to create a more ‘independent’ board, with each election or re-election passing by a majority of proxy votes before the department store’s AGM even started.

The business wished to have Ari Mervis and Jacquie Naylor elected to the board, as well as David Whittle re-elected: each of which received more than 60 per cent of shareholder votes in approval.

Chairman JoAnne Stephenson said that the business had received many questions from shareholders regarding its interactions with Premier Investments, and that it had unfortunately not yet been able to reach an agreement with the Solomon Lew-headed fashion group.

Tim MacKinnon trades top job at eBay Australia for foodie start-up

Tim MacKinnon has left his role as managing director and vice president of eBay Australia to head up celebrity chef Shane Delia’s gourmet meal delivery start-up Providoor. 

In a post on his LinkedIn profile on Friday, MacKinnon said he was grateful for the opportunity to build Providoor into a global brand, but sad to leave the online marketplace where he has worked for the last 10 years. 

“I’m feeling ‘nervcited’ (to use my kids’ term) as I am leaving eBay [and] becoming the CEO of Providoor, a marketplace for enjoying Australia’s best restaurants at home,” MacKinnon wrote. 

“I feel sad too, I just wept in our team meeting, but I feel grateful to have led eBay Australia, and worked for 10 years on behalf of 40,000 Aussie retailers, with a pretty special team (past and present) in a pretty special culture.”  

Delia launched Providoor during Melbourne’s lockdown in June 2020 to help high-end restaurants like his own Maha, Maha East and Maha Bar tap into the multi-billion-dollar meal delivery market without sacrificing quality or presentation. 

Instead of sending fully cooked meals, which inevitably become cold and soggy during transport, the gourmet restaurants on Providoor prepare meals part of the way and provide instructions on how customers can finish cooking them at home. This generally involves a few simple steps, such as heating something on the stove. 

The platform has grown rapidly over the last year and a half, expanding beyond Melbourne to Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide. It will launch in Brisbane later this year, The Australian reported. Providoor estimates that it has returned $40 million back to the restaurant industry.

According to MacKinnon’s LinkedIn post, he has been advising Providoor for the past year. 

“I’ve been advising Providoor this year and feel grateful Shane has entrusted me to work with him and his amazing team to build Providoor as a global brand [and] habit,” he wrote.

David Ramadge, previously a senior director at eBay Australia, has taken over as managing director and vice president to lead the marketplace through its next phase of growth. 

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