A former executive with Zara parent Inditex is among three senior executives appointed by department store group Myer, as the company begins planning for the eventual departure of chief executive Bernie Brookes.
Andrew Flanagan, formerly managing director and Asia-Pacific vice-president for Spanish fashion giant Inditex, has been appointed group general manager for strategy and business development, reporting to chief financial officer Mark Ashby.
In addition to Inditex, Mr Flanagan has served as chief operations officer of British retailer Tesco’s Chinese division, and held merchandising and procurement roles with international retailers Homeworld and Wal-Mart.
Mr Brookes said the hire did not indicate Myer was planning to expand offshore.
“Andrew set up Zara in Australia and was looking after 800 stores throughout Asia, and before that he was with Walmart and Tesco, so he has this worldly experience that will help us look at things in a different perspective,’ he said.Today the Herald Sun reports
Myer has been forced to sack a new recruit just days into his appointment after his glowing references were thrown into doubt.
The department store group last week trumpeted its appointment of high-flyer Andrew Flanagan as group general manager of strategy and business development.
Mr Flanagan had a seemingly stellar business background, having reportedly worked as former managing director and vice president Asia Pacific of Inditex Group, which owns fashion giant Zara.
But Inditex Group’s Zara Australia today confirmed that Mr Flanagan “was not part and has never been employed by the company”.
“He has not held the position of managing director and vice president for Asia Pacific,” a Zara Australia spokesperson said.
Inditex is believed to have made Myer aware of the discrepancy. ....
“Myer announced today that Andrew Flanagan’s contract has been terminated,” the company said. “There are a number of investigations taking place.”
BusinessDaily understands that Mr Flanagan was presented to Myer as a potential candidate by a recruitment agency, complete with several detailed and glowing references from senior executives at the companies he claimed to have worked for.
Myer understood the references had been checked by the recruitment agency before Mr Flanagan was put forward for the position.Somewhat less embarrassing than the exposure of Stephen Wilce in New Zealand but perplexing nonetheless.
On 3 July the SMH reported
The silver-tongued American businessman who conned his way into a six-figure job at Myer served time in a Texas jail after being convicted of serious offences.
Texas Department of Public Safety records show Andrew Flanagan, then known as Jeffery Wayne Flanagan, was sentenced to four years' jail in 1992 after pleading guilty in a Dallas court to the charges of burglary, reckless driving, resisting arrest and assault. ....
It is unclear how much time Mr Flanagan served in jail for the convictions. Documents show he was later paroled by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department. He received the jail term after being on probation for an earlier conviction for the illegal use of credit cards.
While Fairfax Media has been unable to speak to Mr Flanagan, the criminal record appears to corroborate other official documents filed in Australia. The rap sheet lists the same birth date and alias used on bankruptcy documents filed by Mr Flanagan in 2009. It records his place of birth as Arkansas, which matches company documents filed with ASIC.
The assault offence is listed as "retaliation", which the Texas penal code describes as the threat or harm against a public servant, witness, prospective witness, informant or someone reporting a crime.On 11 July the SMH reported that Myer has
confirmed it will make a complaint to Victoria Police as early as Friday over the allegedly fraudulent behaviour of short-lived recruit Andrew Flanagan.
Mr Flanagan, who also goes by the name Jeffery, has a history of duping organisations into giving him senior roles, including Specialty Fashion, Bendigo Health, and the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Myer appointed him as general manager, strategy and business development, last month before being forced to publicly fire him over faking his references.
A Myer spokeswoman confirmed the company would refer the matter to police, alleging Mr Flanagan ''engaged in deceptive actions in order to make a financial gain''.
It's unclear whether there was sufficient gain for Mr Flanagan to be charged. Myer sacked him on his first day on the job before he was able to receive any of his pay.On 28 July The Age reported
Mr Flanagan appeared on Monday morning in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a filing hearing on a charge of obtaining a financial advantage by deception at Docklands on June 6.
The charge specifies that Mr Flanagan's alleged deception involved "using a resume and providing verbal employment history and references falsely stating he had held a number of senior executive business positions". ...
Prosecutor Julian Ayres ... asked that an order be made for the lodgement within seven days of exhibits with the police e-crime unit, which included Mr Flanagan's personal computer, three portable hard drives and 27 USB flash drives.