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Temple & Webster boss Brian Shanahan resigns

The boss of online retailer Temple & Webster, Brian Shanahan, has resigned and chief operating officer Mark Coulter will step in as interim CEO.

The ASX-listed company also announced major changes to the business following poor performance this financial year.

Shananhan co-founded the business along with Conrad Yiu, Mark Coulter and Adam McWhinney in 2011. 

“Brian has worked incredibly hard and with an amazing passion to deliver this feat, and will be missed,” said Carol Schwartz, the chairperson of Temple & Webster.

“The good news is that we have continuity of leadership in place with Mark Coulter, who has recently returned to the company as COO, already running the day‐to‐day operations. Mark and the management team have been working hard on this revised plan and are already in the process of executing it.”

As part of the changes, Zizo — formerly Wayfair Australia — will be retired and folded into Temple & Webster, which will reduce costs and provide Temple & Webster with a deeper product catalogue.

Milan Direct will continue to roll out showrooms, with the first Melbourne showroom already making a positive contribution after its first full month of trading.

The company has lowered its revenue guidance to range between $60 million to $62 million, but is still forecasting it will break even in the 2018 calendar year.

“This plan allows us to take advantage of Temple & Webster’s well‐known and loved brand by combining it with the 21st Century no‐inventory business model of Zizo,” said Schwartz.

Mark Coulter, interim CEO, thanked Shanahan for his contribution to the business.

“I would also like to thank Brian as a friend and co‐founder for the incredible job he has done on getting us this far in our journey,” Coulter said.

“FY16 has been a transformative year for the group, and this revised plan is the next phase for Temple & Webster. While the plan delivers short‐term cash flow benefits and accelerates the path to profitability, I am most excited about relaunching Temple & Webster as the online retailer with the deepest and broadest range in our category.

“Our plan is about setting the business up for longer term success. While there will be a short‐term impact to revenue, we are now much more confident of breaking even within our existing cash reserves. By simplifying our business, we can now focus on building Temple & Webster into a household name, famous for its range and innovative services, and Milan Direct into an omnichannel retailer passionate about furniture. With this revised plan we will be back on track to being the first place Australians turn to when shopping for their home,” said Coulter.

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