David Jones sweeps marketing department, with Robinson and Doidge departing

David Jones has swept a broom through its marketing department with CMO David Robinson and marketing GM Victoria Doidge both leaving the retailer.

David Robinson - David Jones CMOThe move is the latest sweep through the executive ranks at the South African-owned chain following the departure of a number of senior executives over the past 12 months.

Robinson joined David Jones as a merchandise planning manager 18 years ago and rose through the ranks to become general manager customer and support services and then omnichannel retail before being named CMO across financial services and customer innovation in January 2014.

Victoria DoidgeDoidge, former marketing manager of the Sydney Opera House, joined David Jones in 2013.

Former CEO Iain Nairn, who left David Jones in 2015 after little more than a year in the job, described Doidge as “the best marketer I have ever worked with”.

David Jones merchandise executive Donna Player also exited the company yesterday.

Speaking at last year’s Mumbrella 360 conference, Doidge said that under the new ownership of the South African-based Woolworths, David Jones had undergone a “complete rethink of its brand purpose”.

As part of moving the brand forward she predicted that David Jones would empower its employees to become the voice of the brand through blogs and social, at the same time tapping into the rise in video to support the brand.

The retailer has anchored its marketing in the hashtag #itsinyou and also courted controversy when it announced a number brand ambassadors last year, including former Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes.

The retailer has not commented on the departure of Doidge, but said that Robinson’s role will be assumed in the interim by chief operating officer David Thomas.

As part of the sweeping restructure of the marketing department, Woolworths’ South Africa executiveDavid Collins as group executive – merchandise, while general manager – food, Pieter de Wet, has been promoted to the new role of group executive – food.

A new role of group executive – digital has also been created with an executive search now underway.

CEO John Dixon said the moves were part of setting David Jones’ course for the future.

“Our business is undergoing a significant transformation and the changes announced today will deliver a world-class leadership team,” Dixon said.

“The creation of two new executive roles, combined with the introduction of new skills and experience, reflects key areas of strategic focus and will extend our capabilities during this exciting phase of the business’ development.”


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