Former Marks and Spencer head of general merchandise John Dixon is to become chief executive of Australian department store chain David Jones, after more than 30 years at the British retailer.

Dixon stepped down from his role at Marks and Spencer in July, and will now replace David Jones’ current chief executive Iain Nairn, who has resigned after 14 months in the role for “personal reasons”. Nairn will stay with the business for the next three months to ensure a “seamless handover” as Dixon doesn’t start his new role until January.

Commenting on his new role, Dixon said: “It’s a substantial business in its own right and lies at the heart of Australian society. It’s a privilege to take on such a role and I am hugely excited by the future possibilities for growth and continuing to be the preeminent department store business.

“I’m thoroughly looking forward to the challenge and my family and I are looking forward to living in Sydney. It’s a perfect fit for me.”

Ian Moir, group chief executive of David Jones’ parent company Woolworths Holdings added: “John is a world-class retailer who brings with him a powerful combination of international food and fashion expertise supported by large scale retail systems and management experience.

“We have known John for many years through our close relationship with M&S and know him to be an inspiring and resilient leader who has traded successfully through the most difficult and competitive of conditions in the UK.”


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