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Global Retail Expert.


Bernie Brookes is a retail veteran with over 36 years involvement in the industry. His wealth of experience includes leading a multi-divisional organisation during significant periods of change and re-engineering. Having worked in three states across all major divisions, he has an excellent grasp of a variety of areas of senior management. He has significant international experience, having undertaken roles in India and China, and has also been a Management Director for the Woolworth's Group. In 2015, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer and board member of Edcon Holdings, South Africa's largest non-food retailer.

Current work

A passion for retail has seen Bernie endeavour to improve the industry. He is involved in a variety of young executive mentoring programs and corporate charity initiatives. He also advocates for the recognition of Australian retailing excellence on the international stage. His commitment to retail in Australia has been recognised with several awards, including the Sir Charles McGrath award for marketing excellence and his induction into the Australian Retailers Association Hall of Fame in 2013. He also received the William Booth Medal from The Salvation Army and the Paul Harris Fellow for Service to the Community from the Sydney Rotary Club.

Previous experience

Strengths: Bernie's strengths include business management and finding solutions to complex situations through analytical, conceptual and entrepreneurial skills. With 36 years of experience, he brings substantial skills in managing change, organising people and leading teams with a passion for entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Myer: Bernie was CEO of Myer Limited from June 2006 to March 2015. During this time, he managed the carving out of Myer from the Coles Group, and the rebuilding of the Myer business under new owners. Before his appointment at Myer, he was a chief engineer of Woolworth's Project Refresh, reducing costs by more than $5 billion over five years. He has held various roles for the Coles Group, including Director of Marketing.

Talking Points


What are the traits of a great leader and how do you develop them? What do great leaders do with challenges? How do they take opportunities and how do they learn? Conveying a series of experiences with story telling, Bernie presents a practical approach to managing and leading.


What do you learn from transformation? How do you manage 'business as usual' in the midst of transformation? How do you manage more than one transformation at once? What are the cultural traits needed for transformation? What are the risks of transformation? How do you measure success and predict outcomes?

Retail - Future trends and the effect of technology

What are the major trends in retail at the moment? Who will win? What about the Digital disruption? What are some of the best in class around the world? What should retailers be doing now to prepare for the future?
One of the most knowledgeable CEOs we have had. A terrific role model and great speaker. He was modest enough to let us brief him and listened. LimeBridge (Australia) Pty Ltd
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