Wesfarmers aims high with new Target director

Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) announced (link opens a PDF) Monday that its Managing Director of Target, Dene Rogers, has “decided for personal reasons” to step down from his current position.

The company has promoted Stuart Machin from his current role as Stores Development and Operations Director at Coles to fill the vacancy. At Coles, Mr. Machin helped oversee numerous strategic revisions, from new store formats to Coles’ Sustainability plan.

Wesfarmers’ Managing Director Richard Goyder said in a statement today: “Stuart has been an important player in the turnaround story which has unfolded at Coles over the last five years. He has impressed everyone with his capacity to develop a successful, enthusiastic team with a strong focus on outstanding execution in stores.”

Mr. Goyder also commented on the “very challenging environment” in which Dene Rogers led Target. Most recently, Target’s earnings fell 20% in the second half of 2012.

Although Wesfarmers’ $2.9 billion invested in Target is relatively small compared to its Coles stake ($15.9 billion), Target’s recent downturn has been a tarnish on Wesfarmers’ overall record. With a bit of luck and strategy, Stuart Machin may yet turn Target into a turnaround.

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The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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