Key player behind Coles turnaround takes on advisor role at Wesfarmers

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 27th August 2009

Archie Norman’s role with Wesfarmers has been expanded beyond his current position as a consultant on the Coles turnaround, the conglomerate explained today.

The man credited with reviving the flagging fortunes of UK retailer Asda in the nineties will take on the position as an advisor to the Board on retail issues. His current role as a consultant has seen him instrumental in luring a number of experienced retail executives to Coles from Britain.

Wesfarmers Chairman Dr Bob Every said the appointment of Mr Norman would give the Board direct access to his extensive global retail expertise on a range of issues related to strategy development and the management of Wesfarmers’ retail businesses.

“Archie has been working with Wesfarmers and Coles at the management level since October 2007 and has had a major role in helping guide the turnaround of the former Coles Group businesses,” he said. “Following his transformation of the ailing Asda grocery chain business in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, Archie has established an international reputation for his retail expertise and experience and he will provide invaluable advice to the Wesfarmers Board.”

Dr Every said Mr Norman’s existing management consultancy would continue. In his new advisory role he will attend Board meetings on a regular basis, as well as the Board’s annual retail planning conference, and advise the Chairman and the Board “as required”.

The conglomerate also announced the appointment of Diane Smith-Gander as a new Director on the Board.

Perth-based Ms Smith-Gander has had extensive experience in financial services as an executive with Westpac Banking Corporation and in management consultancy as a Partner at McKinsey & Company.