Target put broom through management

Target managing director Stuart Machin has put a big broom through the ailing department store's management during his 13 months in the job.

Mr Machin revealed yesterday that 48 of Target's top 50 leaders were either new to the business or were yet to take up their appointments.

The British former Coles executive was brought in to turn the floundering business around in April 2013. His turnover of existing management is in contrast to Kmart counterpart Guy Russo, who opted to stick with incumbents when he began the recovery of that retail chain.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said in the case of Target, the changes were necessary.

"There is a risk," Mr Goyder said. "But frankly we needed to do it in Target."

"We needed people in the business who could embrace the rapid change that's gone on in that sector," he said. "We've now got high quality people that we brought into the business."

Mr Machin told investors that achieving cultural change was the most difficult task at Target.

Mr Goyder was typically tight-lipped about Wesfarmers' acquisition plans as the $3 billion sale of its insurance businesses near completion.

"Our mantra is be ready, have a strong balance sheet, be ready to move quickly and have the analysis done or the capability of doing the analysis quicky," he said.

"We'd be confident that over the long run opportunities would continue to come our way."

Mr Goyder said Wesfarmers' preparedness included having the ability to gauge investment opportunities overseas.

The West Australian

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