Kmart Australia appoints ex-Flybuys CTO as CIO

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Kmart Australia appoints ex-Flybuys CTO as CIO

Replaces former CTO Michael Fagan.

Kmart Australia has appointed former Flybuys chief technology officer Brad Blyth as its new chief information officer.

Blyth, who revealed his departure from the loyalty program company just last week, announced his new role in a brief LinkedIn post on Monday.

He replaces former chief technology officer Michael Fagan, who departed in November after two years overseeing IT at the Kmart, Target and Catch brands.

“Today I joined the Kmart Group to work with two household brands that are synonymous with helping Australian families find great products at a great price,” Blyth wrote.

“As a long-time customer of both, I’ve appreciated what they do for their customers. And so has my family!

“I look forward to working with the team to build on an incredible legacy, paving the way for the future of retail.”

Blyth comes to Kmart Group with more than eight years of IT leadership experience, most recently at Flybuys where he recently oversaw wholesale Amazon Web Services migration.

Before joining Flybuys in September 2018, Blyth spent just over a year at Latitude Financial Services as CTO.

He has also worked at the Commonwealth Bank, including three years as head of digital architecture, as well as Coates Hire.

“We are really excited to have someone as experienced as Brad to lead Kmart Group through our next phase of growth," Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey said in a statement to iTnews.

"We’ve seen immense change due to Covid-19 and the retail industry has been forced to change rapidly to adapt. 

"It is not only the rise in migration of customers online, but the role our physical stores play with an increasing demand from customers for seamlessness between the virtual and the physical – it’s customer led retail.”

Bailey said that Blyth would play "two critical roles" in the Kmart business: "allowing the business to continuously improve the customer experience, in-store and online; and helping us make it easier, simpler and more efficient to run."

"This is vital given the 2 million-plus product offering across more than 500 stores and complex global supply chains," Bailey said.

"In Kmart it is particularly pertinent as there are 244 stores alone, which will increase to 320 over the next 12 months following conversions from Target country and some larger Target’s.

"There is a lot of change underway at Kmart Group and we’re working toward a model of fast, continuous improvement, which will ultimately help our customers. 

"We’re utilising different technologies at a faster rate than ever before, for Kmart this includes digitally enabled retail, augmented reality on our website, RFID technology in the apparel area, and robotics."

Blyth’s appointment comes two months after Kmart Australia appointed Sam Hallawall as its new head of cloud to spearhead a large-scale cloud migration.

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