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Co-founder returns to Temple & Webster operations team

Online homewares retailer, Temple & Webster, has made a number of key management changes as it strives to break even.

Mark Coulter, an original co-founder of Temple & Webster, has been appointed COO and will be taking responsibility for all Temple & Webster Group operational activities from today. The new appointment will see Coulter step back into the day-to-day operations of the business after a stint in advisory roles.

Coulter has acted as an ad-hoc advisor to the business since its inception, was a board member before its IPO and led the acquisitions for Wayfair (ZIZO) and Milan Direct.

Stephen Heath, former MD and CEO of Fantastic Holdings Limited, has also joined the Temple & Webster board as a non-executive director and from April, will work with the management team under a consulting agreement.

“We are very pleased that Stephen Heath has agreed to join the Temple & Webster board of directors,” said chairperson, Carol Schwartz.

“He has a wealth of relevant retailing experience which will be invaluable to Temple & Webster as it executes on its strategy to become the first place Australians turn to when shopping for the home.”

Schwartz also welcomed back Coulter to the business he helped launch.

“As a co-founder, Mark knows the business well and will have a particular focus on taking the business to EBITDA positive in a measured and timely fashion,” she said.

The board has accepted the resignation of CFO, Deborah Kelly, effective March 31, 2016, who has accepted a role with a former client. A replacement is expected to be announced in the near term, and in the interim Brian Shanahan, CEO of Temple & Webster, will also assume the CFO role.

Shanahan was formerly the CFO of eBay Australia for three years.

Both Schwartz and Shanahan thanked Deborah Kelly for her contribution to the business, including her role preparing the retailer for its ASX debut last year.

“I would also like to confirm that these changes give me even more confidence in bringing forward our breakeven point, while still delivering a high-growth company,” Shanahan said.

Temple & Webster is yet to post a profit but has forecast it will break even in the 2018 calendar year.

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