Keynote speaker Bernie Brookes’ 30-year retail career comprises a rich mosaic of narratives and triumphs from some of Australia’s major retail companies. Following a storied career at Woolworths, he became the CEO of Myer. Bernie’s ability to establish the company’s independence from the Coles Group was another example of his expertise in managing change, leadership, organising people and retail skills. Bernie's unwavering self-confidence and his desire to inspire entrepreneurship and empowerment has been a vital contribution to Australia's national retail setting and its retail workforce.
Bernie’s experience includes leading a multi-divisional company during seminal periods of transition and re-engineering. He has a strong grasp of the varying levels of senior management, having worked in a diverse portfolio of divisions in three different states. Bernie has also applied his expertise to international marketing, doing work in both India and China. He was also a management director for the Woolworth's Group.
Bernie's strengths are based in his ability to solve organisational and managerial problems within a company by coupling his self-confidence and zeal with his arsenal of conceptual, entrepreneurial and analytical skills. And like any managerial expert, results are his guiding motivation. Bernie's robust resume of more than three decades of managing change, leading teams and organising people with his distinct passion for empowering teams and instilling an entrepreneurial spirit.
He was a chief engineer of Woolworth’s Project Refresh and became Director of Marketing for the group after performing roles across all areas of the company.
From June 2006 to March 2015, he was the CEO of Myer Limited. Brookes led the carve-out of Myer from Coles Group and helped rebuild the company under its new owners.