From Cotton On to Catch: Wesfarmers’ plans to put its acquisition back on track


Shares in Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) edged higher on Friday.

This follows the company’s latest release regarding the appointment of a new managing director for its business.

At market close on Friday, the conglomerates’ shares finished trading at $46.63, up 0.71%.

Wesfarmers draws in Cotton On talent

Investors are bidding up Wesfarmers shares after the company announced it has bolstered its leadership team.

In its release, Wesfarmers advised that experienced retail and e-Commerce executive Brendan Sweeney will become the new managing director for Catch.

Since 2015, Sweeney has headed up the global eCommerce and loyalty division for Australia’s largest global retailer, Cotton On Group.

Serving as group general manager of e-commerce, Sweeney leads the international online strategy across the Cotton On brand portfolio.

Prior to his current role, Sweeney led the strategy function at Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL), where he led the supermarket’s multichannel offering.

Sweeney has significant e-commerce experience in both Australia and overseas in leading retail e-commerce businesses.

Wesfarmers OneDigital managing director and frequent commentator, Nicole Sheffield said:

Under OneDigital, Catch is transitioning to a broad-based Australian marketplace offering, focused on brands customers know and love.

Brendan has significant experience leading large-scale ecommerce and retail investment programs and will spearhead this transformation. He will also lead the Fulfilled by Catch program, a multimillion-dollar investment in cutting-edge fulfilment centres and delivery technology to drive faster delivery for Catch and other Wesfarmers retail business.

Acquired by Wesfarmers in 2019 for $230 million, Catch has recently moved into the Wesfarmers OneDigital division under Nicole Sheffield.

Sweeney is expected to begin the role in late October.

Since the start of 2022, the Wesfarmers share price has continued to tread lower to post a loss of 21%.

The company appears to have been impacted by inflationary pressures as well as the weakened economic environment.

Its shares hit a 52-week low of $40.03 on 17 June before regaining some lost ground in the weeks after.

Wesfarmers commands a market capitalisation of around $52.87 billion.

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