Myer has hired an executive into the role of chief information officer for the first time in the company’s history.
The retailer has hired Australia Post executive Richard Umbers into the newly-created role of chief information and supply chain officer, reporting directly to Myer CEO Bernie Brookes.
Umbers will be in charge of several back-office projects at Myer, including supply chain and payment systems and its fledgling attempts at an omnichannel approach to customer sales and service.
The company offers online ordering for both home delivery and ‘click-and-collect’, and has set a target for 10 percent of its sales to be handled by its online store within the next five years.
Umbers will lead the technology that underpins the Myer One loyalty card program, which now has over five million users that represent 70 percent of the department store’s sales. In a past life Umbers led customer engagement programs at Woolworths.
Trained as an engineer in the British army, Umbers has also held roles as managing director of Aldi in the North-West region of the UK and Ireland.
Umbers will leave his post as executive general manager of ecommerce and parcel services at Australia Post to take up the new role. No date has been set for his departure from Post, and a Myer spokesperson could only say he will join the retailer “in the coming months”.
While Umbers is Myer’s first CIO in many years, IT at Myer has been led by executives that fulfilled the role under different titles.
Myer group general manager Timothy Clark was director of IT from 2006 until early 2012, but has since been charged with a broader set of responsibilities. In mid 2012 he passed the technology leadership baton on to Anthony Coelho, who will now take the role of group general manager of IT and system payments, reporting to Umbers.
The company relies heavily on outsourced IT services supplied by IBM Australia. Myer has the unfortunate legacy of an online sales outage that lasted near on a week during its annual stocktake sale between Christmas and New Year.