David Jones’ South African owner Woolworths Holdings has appointed Roy Bagattini as its new CEO, cheering investors keen for a fresh pair of hands to tackle the department store’s struggling business.
The Levi Strauss executive replaces Ian Moir, who will step down in February after nine years at the helm during which he oversaw the group’s digital transformation and paid a big premium for David Jones to bulk up in Australia.
Moir’s departure from the top job at Woolworths was widely anticipated by analysts as his $US2 billion acquisition in 2014 of David Jones has weighed on the group, which has had to write down its value twice and pump in millions of dollars to refurbish its Elizabeth Street store in Sydney, disrupting sales.
Bagattini, 56, has been running Levi Strauss’ business in the US for more than three years. He previously served as the denim brand’s Asia Pacific, Middle-East and Africa president, and also worked for Denmark-based beer producer Carlsberg and South African-founded brewer SABMiller.